Tsvangirai, Mujuru present formidable coalition

HARARE - The recent solidarity pact between MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and People’s First’s Joice Mujuru as they led demonstrations in Gweru was by any measure groundbreaking and the shockwaves are evidently resonating within Zanu PF, political and social commentators contend.

The commentators said what Zimbabweans need is a genuine coalition and not the so called coalitions which are simply a rat race towards power.

They are also of the feeling that the opposition has to step up its capacity to drag the ruling party to start effecting electoral reforms.

Political commentator Phillip Pasirayi said it is important the opposition parties have found each other. “A divided opposition will only work to Zanu PF’s advantage. But let me say that it's too early to talk of a coalition as there are many hurdles on the way.

“The opposition parties need to bury their differences and embrace the spirit of accommodation and work for the common good.”

Pasirayi said the opposition also needs to understand that Zanu PF is working round the clock to scuttle the coalition. “Part of the Zanu PF strategy is to foment divisions within the opposition parties, co-opt a few corrupt leaders and even form bogus opposition parties which have already started just to mud the waters.

“The other strategy that will be used against the opposition parties to scuttle the coalition is to play dirty and use the state media to frame Mujuru and Tsvangirai as ideologically bankrupt and stooges of Britain and America.”

Pasirayi added that the main opposition parties are advised to guard against infiltration by “CIOs and if they embrace some of the small parties that are mushrooming that is a recipe for disaster. Some of the parties that look genuine on paper are Zanu PF projects.”

Journalist Tonderai Kwindi said any coalition should be informed by the people's interests and should never be about the politicians.

“The Mujuru and Tsvangirai ‘pact’ will give hope to a troubled nation because she (Mujuru) will help wade off propaganda fears among some electorate that Tsvangirai has no liberation credentials.

“The coalition should be one of those willing to serve the people not prising political positions for themselves,” said Kwindini.

He added that what Zimbabweans need is a genuine coalition with the will power to usher a completely new era of politics in Zimbabwe where people's rights are respected. “For now most of these so called coalitions are simply a rat race towards power.”

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said negotiating for political party coalitions is like cutting deals for smart business partnerships. “There is always need for a thorough due diligence exercise to be conducted. A grand political coalition is on the horizon; it's coming. That's for sure.

“That's why the Zanu PF regime is at sixes and sevens. The regime is in panic mode. But then, a new Zimbabwe is beckoning. No one can stop that process now. Just watch this space.''

Media practitioner Rasweat Mukundu said coalitions need a meeting of minds and realism on leadership capacity as well as humility of those involved as one will assume the top seat at the expense of the other.

“The MDC and ZPF present a formidable coalition without the need for other smaller if not inconsequential parties.

“However the question is what is the coalition for, is it to simply grab power, what alternatives are the two offering. Their success or failure depends on how they answer this question,” said Mukundu.

Political activist Tabani Moyo said the opposition political parties’ coming together is a first step towards dismantling Mugabe’s 36-year stronghold on Zimbabwe.

“However, getting together alone is not enough unless if they are nourished of the capacity to fireproof the administration of the elections. There has been electoral fraud taking place for the better part of Mugabe’s three and half decade rule,” said Moyo.

He added that the opposition in totality has to step up its capacity to drag the ruling party to start effecting reforms and become competitive in the next general elections.

“In essence the opposition should start believing in itself once again and build capacity to wrestle for political power, rather than focusing on internal corrosion as in the current debilitating state,” said Moyo.

Mining activist Farai Maguwu said this has to be a coalition of the willing. “In politics every vote counts. But my main concern is that the great question of the day will not be decided by popular vote but rather by the creation of an even electoral environment.

“I predict a heavy trouncing of the opposition, even if they all unite and present a single candidate in 2018, unless they fight very hard for genuine electoral reforms.

Political commentator Mcdonald Lewanika said events in Gweru were a good sign and gave both parties an opportunity to test temperatures, the leaders’ chemistry and even Zanu PF reactions.

“So a good first step. But to form genuine coalitions photo ops alone are not enough; the parties would need to form exploratory committees to work out a plan for discussion, develop shared values and visions and create a platform to both have a conversation and determine what is shared and thrash out points of difference,” said Lewanika.

He added that good photo ops like Gweru usually happen as part of a plan and are usually the tale signs that something is afoot but I'm not sure if this is the case in Zimbabwe.

Lewanika said “”|”Zimbabwe has over 40 registered opposition parties and a grand coalition involving all of them maybe impossible. “But smaller coalitions may be preferable and within the realm of possibility as it is easier to match values and have manageable alliances when they are small to mid-sized, but some coalitions have been known to have more than 15 parties.”

Playwright Silvanos Mudzvova believes everyone should be in the pact. “No matter how small the political party is those few votes matter. The case of Zambia quickly comes to mind if they had combined forces Lungu would not have won.

“The way forward for this pact is political leadership should humble themselves and compromise on positions. The issue of positions must not stall this process and if leaders have people at heart surely they can accept any positions.”

Media practitioner Nigel Nyamutumbu said the pact by Mujuru and Tsvangirai was by any measure groundbreaking and the shockwaves are evidently resonating within Zanu PF.

“For years, the ruling party has been benefitting from a fractured opposition, whose divisions would often defy logic and as such the coming together of these two prolific politicians has potential of becoming a game changer.

“Notably, Mujuru and Tsvangirai are beyond the prospects of an electoral pact coalescing to mobilise their supporters to demand electoral reforms and that could result in some changes within the electoral framework should they sustain the momentum,” said Nyamutumbu.

He added that going forward; the negotiators of this grand coalition should focus more on building consensus on a common ideology and practical alternative policies that they can offer the electorate than petty positional politics.

Comments (5)

formidable to whom?

truth - 19 August 2016

@Truth zvino mamama dhodhi. Maiti makangwara zvino chaitemura chonoseva.

Chimbwido Warvet - 19 August 2016

tsvangirai is a handful to Mugabe. mujuru and Mugabe are two sides of the same coin- thieves and murderers. HANDe SAVE.

josphat mugadzaweta - 19 August 2016

The joining together of Tsvangirai and Mujuru is ZANU PF nightmare. This is what they had feared all along and that they have seen that it is eventually come to pass, watch out for more drama. ZANU PF is timid to the bone. I am saying this from first hand contacts. In Mudzi, we all know that this is the game changer all have been waiting for. Now we have a liberation Icon and true fighter for democracy taking on the tyranny Mugabe; this is the beginning of a new era. We know that Zimbabwe is not other countries, but no liberation party has survived such scenarios. A quick example is Kenya's Moi, he fell in similar circumstances. Welcome independence, at last we there is dawn.

Zvichapera - 19 August 2016

How can a mere anti-bond note solidarity engagement be seen as a formidable coalition.Wishful thinking!

tkpb - 21 August 2016

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