HARARE: The Mugabe family offered the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Nelson Chamisa 24 million US dollars and a dozen vehicles to oil its election campaign, a Zimbabwean newspaper has claimed.
In return, the MDC would reserve 82 parliamentary seats and a vice president’s post for a party linked to the Mugabes, the report said.
“Chamisa is said to have warmed up to the idea of working with the Mugabes, especially considering that the funding that would come along with it would come in handy,” the paper said.
The prospect of a pact with Grace Mugabe – who, together with her husband, is alleged to be backing the National Patriotic Front party – is said to have met stiff resistance from some of Chamisa’s partners in the MDC Alliance. The demands were seen as too high and the talks “have now virtually collapsed,” the paper said.
“We made it very clear that we didn’t think that the involvement of Mugabe was a clever thing since we believed he had run his race. The wife is worse,” one unnamed MDC official told the paper.
Another official said: “I know he (Chamisa) has been receiving calls from Grace. We don’t have a single cent or car right now. But the rest of us said we would rather sacrifice than involve ourselves with Grace whom we all know is heavily discredited.”
Chamisa’s main rival President Emmerson Mnangagwa is running a well-oiled campaign complete with fleets of vehicles, adverts on TV and radio and numerous billboards and banners bearing his portrait.
Chamisa has denied he offered a position to Grace Mugabe. In comments carried by New Zimbabwe, Chamisa told supporters in Marondera this month: “I have not run out of options that I would resort to appointing Grace Mugabe as my vice president.”