Source: Newsday By: Everson Mushava
NATIONAL People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru is reportedly under pressure from party hawks to quit coalition talks with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, NewsDay can reveal.
Mujuru signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tsvangirai last month to signify their commitment to working together and fielding a single candidate to challenge President Robert Mugabe in next year’s presidential race.
But fresh details reveal Mujuru has been under pressure from senior members of the party to stall the agreement which they view as a coup by Tsvangirai.
The party hawks, party insiders say, were incensed by the idea that Mujuru signed the MoU at Tsvangirai’s home, a move which they translated to mean that it was like NPP had joined the MDC-T leader instead of being a coalition partner.
“Serious contradictions have emerged in Mujuru’s party since she signed the MoU with Tsvangirai at his Highlands home. Senior members in Mujuru’s party were not happy with the move and are pressuring her do dump the coalition,” well-placed sources within NPP said.
“They view the move as a palace coup by Tsvangirai. The situation has been made worse by utterances by Tsvangirai’s officials that the MDC-T leader will be the face of the coalition when parties are still to sit to decide who should lead the coalition.”
Tsvangirai has signed MoUs with many opposition parties that include the MDC led by his former party secretary-general Welshman Ncube.
The former Premier, whose party made history by becoming the first to hand Mugabe an electoral defeat in 2008’s first round of polls, is yet to sign MoUs with other opposition parties.
Mujuru and Tsvangirai had been in coalition talks when the former was still Zimbabwe People First leader before she formed NPP after a fallout with the founding members Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa among others.
Mujuru yesterday addressed her first rally at Maungwa business centre in Gutu South as leader of the NPP.
However, Mujuru’s spokesperson Gift Nyandoro said he was not aware of the differences in NPP.