Zimbabwe opposition figures team up to challenge Mugabe

Zimbabwe opposition figures team up to challenge Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe speaks to supporters gathered to celebrate his 93rd birthday at Matopas near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, February 25, 2017. "It must play its part towards this overall development vision we have", Mugabe said. "That is going to be a game changer".

Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, fired Mujuru in 2014, accusing her of plotting to unseat him.

Mujuru, who formed a new National People's Party in March past year, said the two parties had worked on the agreement for the last six months and would now start negotiating specific details to strengthen their alliance.

A ZANU-PF politician tells Newsweek that the party is not fazed by the opposition alliance.

Top security commanders have publicly challenged Mr Tsvangirai's presidential ambitions, saying he had no liberation war record and that he was too close to Western countries.

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"I am not at liberty to reveal (the nature of the negotiations) because we have made a commitment that we will not negotiate in the media".

Morgan Tsvangirai, a veteran opposition leader, and Joice Mujuru, who served as Mugabe's deputy for 10 years, signed an agreement Wednesday that lays the groundwork for an opposition coalition, Zimbabwe's NewsDay reported.

"We have chosen this day to take the first step to bring all Zimbabweans under one roof so that we can work together to remove this unmitigated repression and misgovernance that pervades our lives", said Tsvangirai, according to NewsDay.

"Right now, it is MDC we are talking to on a bilateral basis but we also have many more that we are talking to".

"We shall drive a comprehensive democratisation and transformation agenda".

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"We now repress each other through partisan distribution of food, even maiming and killing others for belonging to a different political party".

"This is something we have discussed since previous year", she said.

Tsvangirai and Mujuru have continuously ignored invitations to join the Coalition of Democrats (Code), another grouping of smaller opposition parties at pains to form the nucleus of the country's envisaged grand coalition.

Code, which has among its ranks parties led by former Finance ministers Simba Makoni and Tendai Biti as well as former Industry minister Welshman Ncube, has over a dozen parties. "So far Zanu PF has proved that it has the depth and capacity to win any election", he said.

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