The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai has described as “grossly false’ a story by Reuters News Agency suggesting that its leader is involved in a secret deal with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to form a coalition government.
In a statement, the MDC-T said, “Nothing could be further from the truth. For the record, President Morgan Tsvangirai has never held any meeting with Mnangagwa, whom he last met four years ago during the time of the inclusive government.
“President Tsvangirai and the party he leads will never be party to any government formed outside of elections. We are a democratic party that values the legitimacy that stems from the people’s involvement through a democratic process of elections. As such, President Tsvangirai will never be party to any deal that falls outside the democratic values of legitimacy and elections.”
The party said Tsvangirai it is also untrue that Tsvangirai has held meetings with the British or the military allegedly involved in the “deal that shamelessly falls outside the realm of the legitimate process of elections.
“The electoral process defines the character of the MDC. It is our unstinting belief that any government formed in this country must be a legitimate government that stems from elections, which elections are due in 2018 in line with the country’s Constitution. Any purported deal outside elections and involving diplomats, the military and other such characters will not be legitimate and will not rescue Zimbabweans from their current predicament simply because we are where we are as a country because of the crisis of legitimacy.
According to Reuters, some documents and sources say Mnangagwa, a 73-year-old lawyer and long-standing ally of Mugabe, envisages cooperating with Tsvangirai to lead a transitional government for five years with the tacit backing of some of Zimbabwe’s military and Britain. These sources leave open the possibility that the government could be unelected. The aim would be to avoid the chaos that has followed some previous elections
This unity government would pursue a new relationship with thousands of white farmers who were chased off in violent seizures of land approved by Mugabe in the early 2000s. The farmers would be compensated and reintegrated, according to senior politicians, farmers and diplomats. The aim would be to revive the agricultural sector, a linchpin of the nation’s economy that collapsed catastrophically after the land seizures.
But the MDC-T says while stability is important, Tsvangirai and the party have always placed a far much higher premium on legitimacy and democracy.
“The MDC is not and will not be party to the Zanu PF factional wars and the false story by Reuters sadly projects the party and President Tsvangirai as appendages to the vicious quest by one of the Zanu PF factions to take over power outside of the legitimate process of elections.
“… The MDC has a functional Alliance with several other political parties and groups that have a genuine desire to rescue Zimbabwe from its current abyss after a free, fair and credible election that should be held next year. The MDC is a genuine and sincere member of that functional Alliance and will not engage in any other clandestine deal that seeks to undermine both the integrity of the Alliance and the legitimate process of elections.”
The MDC-T noted that the Alliance was formed in fulfillment of a resolution of the party’s Congress, the decision of the National Council and in furtherance of the genuine desire by the people of Zimbabwe to see a broad alliance of diverse Zimbabweans coming together to contest next year’s elections as a united front.
“It is for that reason that we seek to strongly rebut the Reuters falsehood. The people of Zimbabwe are keen to express themselves in a free, fair and credible election. Any elite pact that seeks to avoid elections will be a betrayal of democracy and the legitimacy that stems from a credible electoral process in which the people freely express themselves.”
The MDC-T Alliance comprises several parties that are aiming at unseating the ruling Zanu PF party in the 2018 general elections expected to be held in July next year.