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Tsvangirai courts Mnangagwa

MORGAN Tsvangirai's MDC-T and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru's National People's Party (NPP) have extended an olive branch to President Robert Mugabe's under-fire deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to join the opposition camp amid reports of a plot to expel him from Zanu-PF.

Mnangagwa has come under immense pressure to leave the ruling party after he reportedly told supporters at the late Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa's memorial service in Gutu three weeks ago that he recently "miraculously" survived an attempt on his life after he was allegedly poisoned at a Zanu-PF campaign rally in Gwanda.

The remarks earned him the wrath of Mugabe, First Lady Grace and his counterpart Phelekezela Mphoko, who demanded that he retracts the utterances.

As a fire-fighting measure, Mnangagwa issued a Press statement to try and set the record straight, claiming he had been misquoted by the media, but this was not enough to erase the damage caused.

Mugabe went on to reshuffle the Cabinet, relegating all alleged Mnangagwa loyalists to the dustbins.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu yesterday said it was high time Mnangagwa considered joining opposition politics after Mugabe took away his Justice ministry while Cabinet ministers sympathetic to him were either sacked or demoted in a mini-reshuffle announced last week.

"Events unfolding in Zanu-PF now clearly show that Mugabe never liked Mnangagwa and the reshuffle was only meant to fix him and his supporters. If Mugabe was genuine about his reshuffle, he should have first reshuffled himself out," Gutu said.

Gutu added: "We believe in a big-tent approach, so if Mnangagwa feels like he cannot handle the heat in Zanu-PF anymore, which I think that is the point he is at now, he is most welcome to join the MDC-T. President Tsvangirai is always on record saying that anyone who genuinely repents from evil deeds is welcome to join us. I say to Mnangagwa this is the time, come let us reason together."

NPP spokesperson Jeffreyson Chitando also weighed in, saying his party was looking forward to have Mnangagwa joining them.

"We don't see the light all at once. Mnangagwa might have a not-so-pleasant past, but if he eventually sees the light and repents, then we are ready to accept him at NPP. Even if Mugabe sees the light someday, we are willing to walk the road with him," Chitando said.

"We need each other to rebuild Zimbabwe. If ever Mnangagwa resigns and wants to challenge the status quo, he is welcome to join us. Mnangagwa and all the other people in Zanu-PF who are being persecuted for being honest are welcome to join NPP."

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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