Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, has again been forced to deny persistent reports that he has offered former first lady Grace Mugabe the vice presidency post should he win in the forthcoming elections.
According to NewsDay, a faction of the recently-formed opposition, the National Patriotic Front (NPF), claimed last month that Grace wanted to be vice president of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance.
The sensational claim, which Chamisa rubbished at the time, was allegedly made by Jim Kunaka of the NPF at a press conference in June.
The NPF was formed after the ageing former president Robert Mugabe was persuaded to step down following a military takeover in November last year.
Reports indicated that Mugabe approved of the party, a development that led to speculation that the former first family could be angling for a way back into power – and may be trying to do so by getting the NPF to join the MDC Alliance.
‘I have not run out of options’
The state owned Sunday Mail newspaper quoted a senior Grace ally over the weekend as saying that the former first lady had indeed been promised the vice president post by Chamisa.
Sarah Mahoka also claimed that the NPF had decided to rally behind Chamisa in the coming polls, the report said.
The party’s spokesperson, Jealous Mawarire, reportedly concurred, but did not confirm who was going to take the post should the deal with Chamisa’s MDC-Alliance become official.
However, according to New Zimbabwe.com, Chamisa distanced himself from the state owned newspaper reports, saying that they were bent on misleading the public ahead of the crunch polls on July 30.
Chamisa said: “I have not run out of options that I would resort to appointing Grace Mugabe as my vice president. Don’t listen to the Sunday Mail.
“The Herald and Sunday Mail now have an editorial policy to misinform the people.”