Biti’s party faces split threat as party seniors squabble over coalitions

HARARE: The Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has rubbished claims that it agreed an election pact with Zapu and NPP.

The deal was allegedly sealed by PDP secretary general Gorden Moyo.

However, Jacob Mafume, the party’s spokesperson, said PDP had neither signed nor negotiated any election deal outside the MDC Alliance pact which is led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

He said if Moyo had reached such an agreement with NPP and Zapu, he would have been acting in a personal capacity.

“The People’s Democratic Party is part of the MDC Alliance; the party has no intention of forming another parallel coalition.

“The party as a matter of fact has no official negotiations going on outside the context of including others in the already existing alliance,” Mafume said in a statement on Monday.

This comes after private media reported that Biti’s party had double crossed the MDC Alliance by agreeing a similar deal with former vice president Joice Mujuru’s and Dumiso Dabengwa’s parties.

Moyo, allegedly representing PDP at the signing ceremony, claimed the pact was the first his party had appended a signature on.

According to Moyo, Biti only attended the MDC Alliance launch ceremony but never signed any document, hence there was no betrayal.

However, Mafume insisted that PDP was backing the MDC Alliance, further explaining that only Biti can represent the party in such negotiations.

“The PDP wants to set it on record that the PDP only has official platforms where party statements are posted on release, any other statements released to the media may end being personal opinions of which individuals are entitled to in light of the rights enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said.

In the agreement sealed by Moyo, the opposition parties agreed to not contest each other in Matabeleland in the 2018 harmonised elections.

However, Mafume stated that PDP would not endorse or participate in a coalition constituted in a manner which endorses tribal tensions.

“We also want to make it a point that the PDP has no intention to divide the Zimbabwean people based on geographical locations or ethnicity in that regard any political arrangement meant to undermine the spirit of a united nation is not a PDP ideal,” he said.

According to NPP deputy president Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, every region needed such arrangements to take over power from Zanu PF.