Tsvangirai mum over coalition role

HARARE - Opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has declined to comment on suggestions that he takes on a key role in the mooted grand coalition to strike a deal to see the opposition into power.

This comes as Zanu PF politburo member and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo sensationally said that the former trade unionist should lead the coalition after the former prime minister staged a successful demonstration last week to express his party’s misgivings about the state of the economy and President Robert Mugabe’s continued rule.

The march revealed that Mugabe’s long-time rival, who has been lying low since his devastating loss in the 2013 election, remains a force to reckon with.

Though describing it as a “coalition of losers”, Moyo said Tsvangirai’s bumper crowd showed that he is the one who should lead the pack.

“It’s all about who should lead the coalition of losers. Joice Mujuru has an uphill task after yesterday (April 14)’s MDCT demo!” Moyo wrote on his Twitter account.

In the follow up tweets, Moyo said the MDC demonstration was not about Zanu PF. He claimed Zanu PF had the numbers, adding that the MDC demonstration was on Mujuru’s “stillborn” Zimbabwe People First.

“I’m smoking the truth. The demo was about demonstrating that Tsvangirai not Mujuru should lead opposition coalition!

“Because Mujuru is struggling to get 100 people to attend her party’s rallies, which explains why she’s in hiding!” Moyo said on the micro blogging site.

Tsvangirai, through his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, said the MDC leader backs in principle a grand coalition that will see the opposition into power, but said the issue was not about positions.

In a development largely seen as building the base for the coalition, 10 leaders from different opposition political parties agreed to issue a joint independence commemoration statement on Monday, but Mujuru’s ZPF issued a separate statement.

“Who knows what tomorrow holds for us?” Tamborinyoka said.

“It’s still two years away from the 2018 elections and we agreed on issues and conditions and not positions. That is what is important for now for the good of the people and the country, a big tent of opposition political parties agreeing, leaders finding each other that make us happy.”

An opposition grand opposition may sound far-fetched, especially amid the froth and fury of a nascent election campaign, but is the only way of ending Mugabe’s rule in crunch 2018 elections, analysts have said.

While there are serious disagreements and big egos among the opposition parties that could scuttle the mooted alliance, analysts said the parties will have to forge common ground with the insurgents on many key issues if they hope to overthrow Mugabe and his governing Zanu PF party.

Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said the prospects for a coalition are grim, “especially where MDC and (Joice Mujuru’s opposition) ZPF suddenly consider themselves as larger than life.”

“However, in the unlikely event of a coalition, there will be a conflict as to who is head of class, in which case it might require external mediation for a compromise candidate.

“This candidate will then have to make a commitment to apportion parliamentary seats on a rational, rather than proportional representation basis.”

Ngwenya said more importantly, there was need for some reassurance that all negotiating parties will nominate ministerial posts.

“The question: will big, bloated egos get on the way of a grand electoral coalition? Answer: a resounding yes!”

Political analyst and civil rights campaigner McDonald Lewanika said the next election will be fought and won on hope, and who the people feel gives them the best chance as a country to move out of the shadows of crisis.

He said an organised or partially disorganised Zanu PF can win against a divided opposition.

“Yet a united opposition at different levels can reintroduce belief and give people hope. For the opposition parties, it is a matter of either celebrating their small fiefdoms and stay put in opposition, or federate and stand a greater chance of taking over the state,” he said.

“The opportunity for a broad-based coalition, which will have a multiparty government, is there and the people of Zimbabwe have been amenable to such a situation of multi-party governments since 2002 according to opinion polls, and also recent memories of the inclusive government.”

Speaking in his 92nd birthday interview, Mugabe — who has been nominated by Zanu PF as the 2018 presidential candidate — scoffed at the idea of a grand coalition, saying it will not threaten his rule in any way.

“If you put zero plus zero plus zero plus zero, grand zeros, what do they amount to? You are afraid of them?” Mugabe asked rhetorically.

“Don’t they even amount to eggs; if they were one egg plus another, plus another and another, another I would say well, at least I have four breakfasts.”

Comments (14)

Jonathan tinenzara shamwari u can comfort yourself all you want but the truth remains it looks like currently our party is unable to provide a solution for us after 36years of rule and people are now thinking with their stomach another unfortunate thing is people know that imi u trick them with food for a while then afterwards nothing, plus I loved the bashing of the war vets that was classic adding on to the already shaky party, united you stood but divided you will fall coz of all the factionalism that is happening in your party. Only God know what 2018 will be like if the hungry masses don't decide to stage more demonstrations in protest of their hunger, they do say a hungry man is an angry one. even old women are demanding their portion(15billion), mange so soon all those unemployed masses will join the demands, well interesting situation, I read somewhere that even the civil servants are fed up, even if you increase their salaries the question is will you be able to sustain them let alone pay them, when we clearly unable to pay the current wage bill, I have to admit muZimbabwe muri kufaya, will keep on watching the space as the drama unfolds............................

critic - 20 April 2016

The suggestion by Jonathan is ample evidence that MT is now on CIO payroll. If the opposition coalesced around the compromised MT, ZANU PF will romp to victory in 2018!

Tsodzo Nevanji - 20 April 2016

Tsodzo Nevanji:- MT now on CIO payroll ! Are you sure? You have smoked and drank that stuff a bit early, resulting in this shallow conclusion. Look into this issue again when you are sober. But if you were sober when you made this allegation against MT, I want to suggest you are the CIO out to smear campaign MT with the hope that he looses support - which I think is a big mis-calculation. Remember your boss mugabe was saying a few weeks ago that MDC has split in different directions and is finished - a wishfull thinking of course it was. MT is the one feared most by mugabe and zanu. Opposition figures highly suspect to be on CIO payroll are those who broke away from the original MDC.

Jackson - 20 April 2016

Whenever elections are rigged and a good economy is torpedoed off-course by foolish, untested policies with no measurement of any sort (except rhetoric targeted at people who never progressed beyond primary school), inevitably the country is the biggest loser. It loses skilled manpower, national projects grind to a halt, those who rely on govt may even end up not being paid at all as coffers run dry. It takes an honest, working life's experience to understand this.

Sagitarr - 20 April 2016

morgan is better alone than with anyone on the present political panorama! which credible & untainted individual can he coalesce with? joyce has nothing to offer, welshman rocked the boat in 2005, luxton is disillusioned and quite unwell health-wise and rhobhati has become the proverbial small fire that initially provided light before it became a runnaway veldfire! i advise that morgan remain calm & collected because those agitating for a coalition want to rig him from close range. go it alone morgan and form a fresh gvt free of zanu impurities for a new beginning.

SaManyika Chaiye - 20 April 2016

I agree Samanyika Chaiye. You know what Samanyika, if MT was not joined by chalartans of the likes of Ncubes and Bitis, zanu would have been history soon after the formation of the MDC. With hind sight, MT's warning to mugabe at the launch of the MDC in 1999 that 'mugabe go peacefully now' shows MT, (who had already had attempts at his life as a trade unionist leader critical of mugabe regime) had already a vision on how best to deal with mugabe and zanu, only his vision to be diluted by those charlatans.

Jackson - 20 April 2016

Coalitions are a recipe for gravy trains and lack of accountability. Each political outfit on its own and coalitions maybe inside parliament during deliberations. MDC-T beat a unified zanu pf at 2008 polls, it does not require this excess trash. Smaller groups, must stand on their own and show cause why they exist. Its good for democracy to have more independent political shops. We need a variety of ideas.

X-MAN IV - 20 April 2016

Another crafty and not so subtle way used by Jonathan Moyo to divide and conquer. Notice how he tries to rub MT's ego, but then immediately lashes out to all oppositon forces. People should see through it and not fall for these tactics. Every Zimbabwean has a right to belong to or form what ever political outfit they see fit, and none certainly need lectures from Jonathan Moyo on who is best suited to lead. Moyo, of all people should know better, and try to spend his time rebuilding his credibility in the academic community. Although I may have ideological and philosophical differences with Mujuru's ZPF, surely they are by far better than ZANU-PF. The likes of Moyo are desperately trying to cling on and stay afloat a ship that has lost its sails in the middle of an Ocean and sinking faster than they can escape it. Please do not hoodwink anyone by those old and recycled divide and conquer tactics. The Zimbabwean people have repeatedly (through stolen election after stolen election) rejected the tired and corrupt policies prescribed by Jonathan and associates.

tino - 20 April 2016

this coalition thing should be stopped forthwith. now that it is coming from jonathan's mouth it means it is zanu's ploy to weaken our movement. I genuinely believe that we need to go it alone now that the other party joice is already roping in war vets when what we need are economic tsars who can fix the economy which she plundered with Mugabe over 35 years. this lady has no support at all.

josphat mugadzaweta - 20 April 2016

and victory would be so sweet after beating a coalition,eleven partys thumped by zanu,tsvangison,shakespear maya and company bring it on,we waiting,mdc will never rule this country,they are a movement 4 dirty cities,nothing more

truth - 20 April 2016

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Tendai Bure - 20 April 2016

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