The sensational claim was made by Jim Kunaka of the recently-formed National Patriotic Front (NPF) at a press conference on Friday. Officials from the opposition alliance haven’t reacted publicly yet – but it does appear that this claim is part of intensifying factional fighting in the NPF.
‘Angling for a way back?’
The NPF was formed after the ageing former president Robert Mugabe was persuaded to step down in a military takeover in November last year. Mugabe has said he approves of the party. That has led to speculation that the former first family may be angling for a way back into power – and may be trying to do that by getting the NPF to join the MDC Alliance.
The NPF is not yet a member of the alliance, which is a grouping of opposition parties led by the main MDC party and its leader Nelson Chamisa that will take on President Emmerson Mnangagwa in elections next month. But a faction of the NPF (not Mutinhiri’s) has indicated it wants to join the alliance.
According to NewsDay, Kunaka claimed some members of the NPF “want the vice presidency of the alliance. Grace is the source of our problems”.
Wracked by divisions
“We cannot sell the future of our people by allowing Grace to take charge of our party,” Kunaka said.
The NPF is wracked by divisions. Its founder-president Ambrose Mutinhiri was sacked on Friday (though he refuses to accept this). On Thursday Welshman Ncube, the MDC Alliance’s spokesperson, said the alliance had “no desire whatsoever to be associated with the terrible rule of Robert Mugabe”.