MDC divided over Zanu-PF hints at rapprochement

There appear to have been behind-the-scenes initiatives this week from both Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change to find common ground. “[Zanu-PF president Robert] Mugabe is making moves to accommodate [MDC-T leader Morgan] Tsvangirai and indications are that he is prepared to give him a senior Cabinet post, but certainly not the vice-presidency.

“There have been suggestions that he be given the foreign affairs ministry so that he helps Mugabe re-engage the West,” said a Zanu-PF official this week.

“It appears the president is also prepared to give a few other MDC officials Cabinet posts. Mugabe basically wants to be seen as a unifying factor and wants to move the country forward …

“At 89 he knows it’s his last term in office, so he desperately wants to salvage his legacy by leaving Zimbabwe united and on the path to economic recovery,” said the official.

But MDC officials are divided. Some say accepting Cabinet posts will be the same as legitimising the flawed election.

“There are some officials who, however, want to be part of the government for personal reasons, chief among them, for the benefits that accrue to ministers.

Some people loyal to Tsvangirai also believe he would be in a weak position if he is not in government, having failed to dislodge Mugabe in three elections since 2002, thereby giving an advantage to some vultures in the party who want to topple him at the next congress in 2016,” an official said.

“We had a similar problem when the leadership said those who won the parliamentary elections should not take up the posts, but there was a huge fall-out which led to Tsvangirai reversing his decision to avoid a potential split.”

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