Former President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace offered Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa $24 million as well as 12 vehicles for his campaign so that he could unseat Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front president Emmerson Mnangagwa but he had to make Grace his deputy, one of Zimbabwe’s leading privately-owned newspaper, The Zimbabwe Independent said today.
It said a steering committee was set up to handle the delicate negotiations but it has since been disbanded because the accommodation of the Mugabe’s was having a negative impact on the Alliance.
But it appears Chamisa is not concerned because he has taken over the negotiations himself and is talking to the Mugabes directly.
The report also says the National Patriotic Front which was formed by former members of the G40 faction of ZANU-PF also demanded 82 seats out of the 210 but Alliance partners objected to this.
“The president (Chamisa sent us to South Africa to discuss with these people. We met with Patrick Zhuwao, Jealousy Mawarire, Jeppy Jaboon and Shadreck Mashayamombe. We discussed the possibility of them joining the alliance and the negotiations were progressing really well until they started throwing in impossible demands like that they wanted 82 seats to be reserved for them and that Grace was going to be vice-president,” the paper quotes an official involved in the talks as saying.
“We made it very clear that we didn’t think that the involvement of Mugabe was a clever thing since we believed he had run his race. The wife is worse. So we couldn’t agree. We came back and reported to the principals. We passed the verdict that the deal was bad but, for some reason, the president insisted on continuing with the deal.”
One of the principal partners told the paper: “We all realised that, suddenly, he was not committed to the alliance. In some instances, some senior officials in his own party were accused of involving themselves in the MDC-T factional fights. All the principals are complaining bitterly. Mutambara, for example, has always questioned why Chamisa’s wife was being sidelined. They began to see him as a cheat, and we insisted on him to treat all alliance partners with respect. But he doesn’t listen to anyone.”
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