Opposition leader, Mutambara, ‘forgotten’ at coalition signing

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HARARE: ZimPF leader, Retired Brigadier Agrippa Mutambara was left embarrassed when he was ‘forgotten’ among opposition leaders invited to sign the coalition agreement during a launch rally at the Zimbabwe Grounds on Saturday.
It took the honesty of some top MDC-T officials who later told NewZimbabwe.com that the boob was in fact stage-managed as Mutambara was not a favourite of the benevolent white West which is expected to pour resources into the opposition alliance.
Mutambara, a war veteran who is now a sworn enemy to President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF, was once accused of raping Judith Todd, daughter of a then prominent white rights activist during the Gukurahundi era back in the 1980s.
Leaders of the seven opposition parties who have agreed to contest the 2018 elections under the so-christened MDC Alliance all attended the launch ceremony.
They are MDC-T, ex-Industry Minister Welshman Ncube’s MDC, ex-Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s PDP, Zanu Ndonga, ZimPF, Transform Zimbabwe and the little known Multi-racial Christian Democratic party (MCD).
When it was time to append signatures to the document, all of them except Mutambara and PDP’s Tendai Biti were invited to sign one after the other to the podium by master of ceremony Murisi Zvidzai of MDC-T.
But while Biti had made it clear through a memo to party structures earlier that he was not going to sign, nothing similar could be said of Mutambara.
After a small table that was used by the leaders to sign had been lifted off the podium, Zvizvai was soon to request it back after some ZimPF officials had alerted him of the omission.
“There has been a mistake. Please forgive me. I am your mercy,” Zvizvai was heard saying through the PA system.
When Mutambara signed, Biti also took the opportunity to sign, although it later emerged that all the signatures appended by the leaders of the parties were only for the cameras as parties were still far from reaching any agreement in their talks.
Asked how it was possible that the leader of a coalition partner could be forgotten from the most important part of the event, a senior MDC-T leader close to the developments said it was deliberate as the whites were still angry with Mutambara’s rape act.
“It was not by mistake. Mutambara is not wanted by whites. In fact, they do not want him to be part of the coalition,” said the source.