OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is reportedly grappling with a quandary after donors made clear he either joins up with former vice president Joice Mujuru or risk losing financial support.
Western donors are reportedly frustrated with Tsvangirai’s remarkable success in failing to dislodge President Robert Mugabe, now 91 years old, since the formation of the MDC in 1999.
The former prime minister had already been hit with financial sanctions by traditional donors after he came a cropper again in the 2013 vote.
Following the MDC-T’s shellacking by Zanu PF in those elections which the opposition leader insists were rigged by Mugabe and his party, donors reportedly turned to the Tendai Biti-led MDC Renewal initiative.
But sources said Monday that the donor community had taken a shine to the Mujuru option and want Tsvangirai to throw his lot in with the former vice president, possibly as her deputy.
Either that or Tsvangirai can kiss goodbye to their financial support.
“Exploratory talks are ongoing on but it seems Tsvangirai is in a quandary. He has indicated that he would not want to deputize anyone,” said a source familiar with the development.
“In addition, there is the problem of his lieutenants who would be concerned about losing their leadership positions should Tsvangirai join the Mujuru group.”
Mujuru was fired from government and then expelled from Zanu PF for allegedly plotting a coup against Mugabe.
Top allies expelled with her from Zanu PF say she is establishing a rival party to challenge Mugabe at the next elections.
Donors are said to take the view that although the former premier boasts mass appeal that rivals Mugabe, Mujuru brings to the electoral contest what “Tsvangirai and the MDC do not have” and that is impeccable liberation credentials.
Again, if Mugabe has been cheating his way to electoral “victory” then there is probably none better to beat him than Mujuru and her group since they would likely have some idea how the fraud was carried out.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said he was not aware of any approach for his boss to join up with Mujuru.
He however, said donors would not drive their agenda.
“The MDC is an independent social democratic and Pan-Africanist political party whose agenda is not donor driven,” said Gutu.
“As a political party, we are ready and willing to cooperate with any like-minded political parties.
“However, we will not be swayed and/hoodwinked by any people whose agenda is not focused on bringing about meaningful and sustainable democratic change to the Zimbabwean political architecture.
“We are not position-oriented; we are principle and ideas-oriented.”
Tsvangirai is already working with Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party, the NCA party and ZAPU in a coalition which they believe will dislodge Mugabe and Zanu PF at the next elections which are scheduled for 2018.