Movement for Democratic Change vice-president Nelson Chamisa has contradicted his leader and may have let the cat out of the bag by admitting that there were indeed talks between Morgan Tsvangirai and President Emmerson Mnangagwa over an inclusive government.
According to The Herald, Chamisa, who was justifying his trip to the United States which has been roundly condemned as undermining the new government, said: “We realise and acknowledge that there has been a deliberate attempt to distort the reality as pertaining to what transpired.”
The MDC-T has denied that there were any talks but Mnangagwa’s advisor Chris Mutsvangwa insists that the two parties held talks.
Roman Catholic priest Father Fidelis Mukonori who negotiated former president Robert Mugabe’s exit said he was approached by Tsvangirai to arrange talks with Mnangagwa but was surprised when Mnangagwa announced his cabinet before the second meeting.
Chamisa said: “We had a position as an alliance, which position was that we were supposed to have an inclusive arrangement, a transnational mechanism so that we prepare for free and fair election.
“And president Tsvangirai, as a democrat, as a national leader, as a statesman went out of his way to make sure that he kick-starts the process, but unfortunately, there were no takers of this inclusive arrangement.
“Government intended then to portray MDC-T as a spoiler. They don’t appreciate that building a country is not a partisan effort, it is a collective effort.
“And this is where they are missing it, this is where they want to malign president Tsvangirai.”
As reported in The Insider before, the bone of contention was that Mnangagwa wanted to hand-pick two senior MDC-T officials into his cabinet while Tsvangirai wanted to appoint those whom Mnangagwa could incorporate.
Chamisa should know about the talks because, according to a source, he was one of those who had been hand-picked by Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa advisor Chris Mutsvangwa declined to give the names of those earmarked for Mnangagwa’s cabinet for their own safety.
The other candidate reported to have been on Mnangagwa’s list is a close associate of Tsvangirai who worked with him from his trade union days and was a minister in the inclusive government.