Johannesburg - The 'third man' in Zimbabwean politics, former finance minister Simba Makoni, will soon announce he has formed a new party and give his conditional support to Morgan Tsvangirai's bid for president, his spokesman said Sunday.
Makoni, whom estimates show polling third in last weekend's presidential election behind opposition leader Tsvangirai and Mugabe, will announce the formation of his party after the long-awaited election results are released, Denford Magora said.
'There is agreement within the movement (Makoni campaign) we should formalize this thing but we are waiting for the final results,' Magora said.
Makoni threw open the presidential race in February when he announced, in a surprise move, he would run for president against his former mentor Mugabe. Although the results of the election have yet to be released eight days after voting all estimates, even from Makoni's own campaign, put him a distant third behind Tsvangirai and Mugabe.
'People around the country told us he was rather late coming to the party,' Magora admitted. In the likely event of a runoff vote between Mugabe and Tsvangirai the MDC leader would have Makoni's support on condition they reached agreement on 'concerns about the way the country is run,' Magora said.
Observers have said Makoni could try to gain a position of prime minister - a position that would have to be resurrected - in a government of national unity led by Tsvangirai as president.
Magora insisted Makoni's endorsement would be premised on policy issues. Throughout his campaign Makoni, who campaigned on a message of reform, claimed to have support within the upper echelons of Mugabe's Zanu-PF, but only one senior party member - former home affairs minister Dumiso Dabengwa - openly endorsed him.
Zanu-PF was soundly beaten by the opposition in elections to the lower house of parliament - a win Zanu-PF is now contesting. Magora warned the new party would not act as a haven for corrupt members of Zanu-PF looking to 'flee (Mugabe's party) like rats from sinking ship.'
'You can rest assured you will hear of people who making approaches (to the new party) and are turned away,' he said.
Source: Monsters and Critics