Another principal added: “One other thing which we realised has been a push factor to Mugabe was finance. Mugabe had promised some money and 12 cars. I know he has been receiving calls from Grace. We don’t have a single cent or car right now. But the rest of us said we would rather sacrifice than involve ourselves with Grace whom we all know is heavily discredited. The alliance campaign isn’t funded. Donors have refused to give us money. They have also raised the issue of violence, particularly the Khupe issue and lack of constitutionalism.
“He just decided to disband the steering committee because we weren’t in agreement. Our problem was with the specific role that Grace would then play and I thought it wasn’t a good idea, although a pact with NPF wouldn’t have been a bad thing but a specific role to be played by former first family. Things have really gone bad in the alliance since then. For instance, at the meeting of principals last week, Ngarivhume raised the issue and also asked about what was being done to solve the issue of double candidates in parliamentary constituencies. As you now know, Ngarivhume, was supposed to stand for the alliance in Bikita East but now the MDC-T clandestinely cleared its candidate to also stand.
“So when Ngarivhume raised those issues, Chamisa responded by saying he preferred to have a one-on-one with Ngarivhume and excused himself from the meeting, saying he had a busy schedule and walked out on all of us. When Ngarivhume later tried to pursue that one-on-one meeting, he wasn’t given the chance.”
The paper quoted an unnamed source as saying: “I can tell you that the senior leaders in the party are extremely unhappy about that type of leadership. Soon after the election, that would be the end of that alliance. You have almost half of the top leaders vowing not to vote for him, very disgruntled senior leaders.”
It said Chamisa’s spokesman, Nkululeko Sibanda, denied the reports, saying they were being peddled by his internal party rivals.
“I don’t know anything about my president corresponding with Grace and, if I don’t know, it means it’s not happening. I have his timetable and I don’t see any meeting with Grace there. These are lies coming from people in the party and we know them. In fact, you shall see more of these stories being planted in the remaining three weeks leading to the elections,” he said.
NPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire confirmed to the paper that they demanded the vice-presidency in the event that the MDC Alliance wins the polls, but said the question of who should be occupying that position would be for his party to decide.
“We are clear that with the critical mass we bring to the alliance, we deserve a senior position like VP and we are very clear that the choice of who would become VP should be left to the internal processes within NPF. We agreed that NPF will field 82 parliamentary contestants and this was based on scientific considerations which took cognisance of areas where we are stronger than any of the entities in the MDC Alliance,” he said.
Mawarire also confirmed that talks were still going on with Chamisa’s MDC-T but declined to disclose who they were now deliberating with on that other side.