30 November 2017

Zimbabwe: We Are Not Forming Another GNU, Says the MDC-T

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The MDC-T says it has no intentions of forming another Government of National Unity (GNU) with Zanu PF although it acknowledged there had been informal interactions.

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said the party had not entered into any formal negotiations but was, instead, mobilising Zimbabweans to register to vote in the on-going Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise, which has entered into its third and last phase.

Gutu's statement comes amid wide speculation that Tsvangirai's party could form a coalition government with President Emmerson Mnangagwa who rose to the presidency with the assistance of the military after he had been fired by his predecessor, Robert Mugabe.

Delays by Mnangagwa in naming his cabinet have further fuelled speculation that he could be negotiating with the MDC-T and other opposition parties for a possible partnership to turn around the fortunes of the country.

The newly appointed President this week named Patrick Chinamasa and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as Acting Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs respectively and held a meeting with permanent secretaries from the old portfolios at his Munhumutapa offices Tuesday, the day cabinet usually sits.

But Gutu, on Thursday, said his party would not betray the trust of its millions of supporters by entering into a short-term arrangement with Zanu PF, which he said would be unsustainable.

"However, for the record, we would like to make it abundantly clear that the MDC is not in the process of forming a GNU 2 with the Zanu PF government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa," Gutu said.

He said the party was committed to a Zimbabwe whose economy was rebooted with its infrastructure such as roads, electricity and rail revamped.

Gutu said the party was pushing for reforms to ensure elections, which Mnangagwa said would be held in 2018 as scheduled, would be free and fair.

"These reforms include, but are certainly not limited to, the opening up of the public media space to all political players as well as the de-politicisation of traditional leaders in the rural areas," he said

In 2009, the MDC-T, together with the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, went into a Government of National Unity with Zanu PF with Tsvangirai as the Prime Minister, deputized by Arthur Mutambara while Ncube was Industry Minister.

Tsvangirai's role, however, proved to be merely ceremonial as Zanu PF controlled all the critical state departments while the opposition was used to entice foreign funders.

Zimbabwe

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