Mugabe to face united opposition

HARARE - As the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections get closer, virtually all of the country’s opposition parties are signalling that they are ready to be part of the mooted grand coalition which analysts say could be key in booting President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF out of power.

All the opposition parties that spoke to the Daily News yesterday said they were “more than willing” to enter into such a coalition, after Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader Joice Mujuru dared them to work together to end Mugabe and Zanu PF’s three-and-a-half decades in power.

Mujuru made her call on Saturday when she addressed her first public rally at Stanley Square in Bulawayo that was attended by thousands of her exuberant supporters.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said it had “long realised the importance of a viable coalition” to challenge Mugabe and Zanu PF in the 2018 general elections.

This view was buttressed by the leader of the smaller MDC faction, Welshman Ncube, who said unseating Mugabe and Zanu PF would remain a “tall order as long as opposition parties are not united”.

Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) also said it fully backed all plans that offered possibilities for political change, including the mooted grand coalition.

Analysts canvassed by the Daily News yesterday said the new positive response to calls for an opposition coalition boded well for the 2018 elections.

“Our position as a party has been very clear. We are willing to join with other opposition parties to democratise Zimbabwe. As the MDC we are on board and perfectly willing and able to join other political parties.

“But as to the exact way we will be forming a coalition with other parties, our president Morgan Tsvangirai will be making a statement regarding that at the appropriate time. To us, the enemy is not other opposition parties, it is Zanu PF,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said his party had consistently called for a grand coalition “to deal with Mugabe’s moribund regime”.

“That Mugabe should go is now common cause even in Zanu itself as the man wants to either outlive his potential successors, and if they do not die, chase them away from his party.

“The question is how to chase Mugabe out of office and the only way is through a grand coalition.

“Opposition parties must set aside their differences and try to create a coalition government to remove Mugabe from power.

“We therefore welcome the talk wholeheartedly and we commit our resources to make it a reality so that we can assist the people of Zimbabwe,” Mafume said.

The spokesperson of the smaller faction of the MDC, Kurauone Chihwayi, said it was good that opposition parties were “currently singing the same tune regarding a lasting solution for Zimbabwe”.

“However, time is ticking away and some parties appear to have learnt nothing from history. The MDC is ready to work with all the political parties which are genuinely opposed to Mugabe and Zanu PF,” he said.

Senior project leader for the Southern Africa desk at the Justice and Reconciliation in Africa Programme, Webster Zambara, noted that Zimbabwe’s opposition politicians had previously been their own worst enemies by not working together.

“The other big challenge has been the issue of personal egos in opposition politics such that there was no coalescing around coherent issues and perhaps that is one issue that will now be atoned for with the entrance of Joice Mujuru’s People First,” the conflict resolution expert said.

Speaking when he celebrated his 92nd birthday this year, Mugabe — who has been nominated by Zanu PF as the party’s 2018 presidential candidate — scoffed at the idea of a grand opposition coalition, adding that it would not threaten him and his party 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.

Comments (15)

Now opposition parties are talking sense keep it up.

chitsiga - 20 June 2016

Please make sure all opposition political party members in the villages understand what coalition is all about. This is the only way of having a new government in Zimbabwe. All those who think ZANU PF will rule for ever will see their ministers on the streets come 2018.

dhlodhlo - 20 June 2016

Why are opposition parties not forming a party and not a coalition? Coalition will breakdown during the governing period. All opposition parties should coalesce into one big party with a constitution. A general congress to elect leaders be penciled before 2018. I wait for comments.

Dzvuke Muchaina - 20 June 2016

Do they plan to break the Zanu pf from within by this coalition? We are not idiots. You say you want to embark in coalition but that is not the solution, the solution is acting, what are you doing for zimbabwe, you have not even mentioned how you are going to deal with the problems we are facing, wanting zanu pf out is old news, we want to know what you, the "opposition" is going to do to better the situation in zimbabwe, that benefits the successful, intelligent CEO of a private company, the intelligent man in the rural areas and even the one who has no idea about anything. we need solutions that will benefit every zimbabwean. You need to have a well laid out plan before going to the press about such issues because it will all become noise and worthless.

speaker 2.0 - 20 June 2016

If my memory serves me right, these same opposition parties broke up from the same party.Why now talk about a coalition instead of going back where you came from?I doubt the sincerity of some of them.They may even spoil the coalition through their power hungry attitudes. In addition i believe a coalition is about numbers. Can someone just tell me the state of Ncube's party?

Tahir Iqbal - 20 June 2016

Viola calld them money hunters.why cant mujuru just join mdc.why form a party to merge.

hunda - 20 June 2016

You are absolutely spot on about having a party coalition, Duke. We need to have a long and holistic talk on how to deal with this political mellae before we end up in a coalition deadlock.

Viva Dzvuke - 20 June 2016

Grand coalition and/or ZANU PF, without a strategy to make tractors, machinery and fertilizers for the agriculture sector from our own iron ore, coal and other minerals within the next 5 years the next president might have the shortest term in office. Those crowds are looking for food and jobs. Grand coalition know that Aid comes with strings attached and don,t make the mistake of trying to sell the land you wont last 6 months.

ADF - 20 June 2016

As long as this foliation boot the Robbers and Muggers out. Its OK for the poor Zimbabwean. Power hungry haina bass for the time being bcz the coalition should just let him go to hell,

Clemence Tashaya - 20 June 2016

remember robert muggers to keep your words soft and sweet just in case you might need to swallow them

chris - 20 June 2016

Coalition or no coalition will not make a difference if the same fraudulent and pro ZanuPF electoral system is in place.

jongwe rachembera - 21 June 2016

Mugabe does not need to lose an election to lose power

fresh - 21 June 2016

Why do we not open our eyes and see the trick here. Its a political gimmick guys. That's Robert and Jonathan tricks. Mujuru is just gaining numbers for ZANU PF. Just after voting ,u will hear them talking of combining their votes. The same applies with Ace Lumumba. They saw that the youth are more linked to MDC, therefore he wants to lure them to their unpopular party. Where on earth has someone criticised Robert [OPENLY] on TV or any form of media, and goes scot -free. Kuwawata madiro aGorgina munyika yaani? unoswera waenda.

clever dzawanda - 21 June 2016

This will only work as long as Morgan Tsvangirayi is the leader.Some people want to use this to depose Morgan.If that is the case then inofa yakaloader ....

John shava - 21 June 2016

Grand Coalitin is a joke, when mujuru formed her party asaziva kuti kune a bigger and better opposition inonzi mdc yaifanira kujoina. Sometimes i wonder what education does to peple.vanhu vanoswer vachiita kunge vasina kuenda kuchikoro

Critical Ally - 27 June 2016

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