MDC accuse ZANU PF of trying to bribe its MP’s

Zimbabwe's political drama continued Thursday, with accusations from the MDC that ZANU PF government ministers and security agents were trying to bribe its members of parliament to join a unity government.

A statement from the party said Mugabe’s regime had approached several MP’s asking them to submit their C.V’s for possible appointment into a new government. These are the actions of a desperate and cornered regime, which we find corrosive,’ the MDC said.
Analysts say Mugabe and his party were hoping to pressure Tsvangirai into accepting a junior role in a unity government, but that Tuesday’s walk out by the MDC leader had shattered the plan. The new strategy attempts to side-step Tsvangirai and offer some of his 100 MP’s positions of power, influence and wealth. The state media reported Tuesday that a deal had been struck with the Mutambara MDC to form a new government. This was  denied by the breakaway faction and even the talks facilitator Thabo Mbeki was forced to deny a deal had been done without Tsvangirai.
While the SADC summit this weekend offers another window of opportunity to break the impasse, MDC officials told Newsreel the regime was already reaching out to its MP’s with promises of money and positions. Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme says the plot was activated two weeks ago with a female Bulawayo legislator being the first to be offered a bribe. The legislator told Saungweme she was offered government tenders for her business and a car, if she ensured she voted for a speaker of parliament from the Mnangagwa faction of ZANU PF.
The issue of MP’s being offered bribes has been serious enough to warrant Tsvangirai raising it in the last National Executive meeting of the party. At the meeting Tsvangirai told party officials he knew several of them had been offered bribes by ZANU PF but that it was important to remain loyal to the people who voted for them.

SW Radio Africa News, 14 August 2008

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