One of the G40 kingpins, Jonathan Moyo, has released documents on a proposed Grand National Union that was proposed ahead of last year’s elections which would have supported Nelson Chamisa to stand as president while former President Robert Mugabe was to nominate his deputy.
The plan was initially inked in May but was revised in June with Chamisa still the preferred presidential candidate but with National People’s Party leader Joice Mujuru, the country’s Vice-President for 10 years, as his deputy with another deputy coming from Matebeleland.
Mugabe endorsed Chamisa as his preferred candidate on the eve of last year’s elections and was reported to have bankrolled Chamisa’s campaign.
Moyo said he was forced to release the documents after two pages were leaked by businessman Shingi Munyeza.
According to the documents, organisers of the Grand National Union argued that neither the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front nor the Movement for Democratic Change was likely to garner enough votes for the 2018 elections as supporters of ZANU-PF would not vote for MDC and supporters of MDC would not vote for ZANU-PF.
The GNU was supposed to take advantage of the Government of National Unity that was in power from 2009 to 2013 and also to restore Mugabe as a “respected statesman and iconic leader”.
Emmerson Mnangagwa who came to power in November 2017 after military intervention assured the nation that it would continue to respect Mugabe as the country’s founding father.
The May document said Chamisa would be the GNU presidential candidate but one deputy should be someone with “political and government experience capable of discharging the responsibility of gatekeeping in the GNUs” and should “be nominated by President Mugabe as a representative of the National Patriotic Front”.
The NPF was formed soon after the military intervention with Ambrose Mutinhiri as its leader but Mutinhiri was disowned shortly before the elections because he was supposedly opposed to the GNU.
Reports at the time said the NPF was proposing Mugabe’s wife Grace as Chamisa’s deputy.
According to the May document, the other deputy president was to be drawn either from Thokozani Khupe’s party or from the People’s Rainbow Coalition.
The GNU, the document said, should also accommodate parties led by Dumiso Dabengwa, Joice Mujuru, Simba Makoni and Elton Mangoma.
The June document said one deputy should be drawn from the National People’s Party, “namely, Dr Joice Mujuru who has political, government and gatekeeping experience as well as a liberation history and security sector background”.
“The other deputy president will be drawn from Matebeleland from the political formation in which Dr Godern Moyo is secretary general or the one led by Dr Thokozani Khupe.
“Consideration should be made to accommodate other political formations such as those led by Dr Duiso Dabengwa, Dr Simba Makoni and Mr Elton Mangoma,” it said.
Moyo says the organisers failed to get Mujuru on board and the plan for the GNU was aborted.
“Failed efforts to forge a GRAND NATIONAL UNION in 2018 show that real politics in Zimbabwe remain arrested,” Moyo tweeted today.
“Real politics require strategic coalitions to expand democratic spaces. Defending NARROW TURFS, as happened after the 2017 coup and before the 2018 poll, is a dead end!”
The May and June GNU documents:
June 2018 Grand National Union Concept