Coalition talks between the MDC Alliance and the National Patriotic Front (NPF) are reported to have collapsed after former first lady Grace Mugabe demanded to be made vice president. Former president Robert Mugabe is reported to have offered to back Nelson Chamisa publicly in an effort to convince Mugabe’s diehard supporters to vote against President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The Mugabe’s were also offering US$24 million to fund Chamisa’s campaign as well as 12 vehicles. Chamisa is reported to have been interested in the deal although the other alliance partners were against it.
An MDC official who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent said,
The president (of the MDC-T) 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. 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.
However, Chamisa’s spokesman, Nkululeko Sibanda, denied the reports saying
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.
More: The Zimbabwe Independent,