We're racing against time — Biti

HARARE - Opposition groups — buoyed by the meeting between former vice president Joice Mujuru and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in Gweru last week — want a swift conclusion to talks that will lead to the formation of the eagerly-awaited grand coalition.

This comes at a time Zanu PF is facing growing pressure from a restive populace which has staged numerous demonstrations in protest over the country’s deepening economic rot.

In a statement, leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) — Tendai Biti — said time was running out for the opposition to form the union.

“For too long we have been poisoned by the odour of vicious cycles of stagnation, failure, retrogression and excuse making,” said Biti.

“Meanwhile, our insatiable thirst for change and democracy remains an ongoing quest to find a solution that may not be successful and may never be found.

“Indeed our cry for change remains entrapped in the culpable hands of a half-thinking blighted cacophony of men and women who are yet to realise the urgency and imperator of convergence,” added the former Finance minister.

He expressed fear that the raging succession war in Zanu PF was gradually being militarised following recent utterances by the Commander of the Defence Forces, Constantino Chiwenga.

“More sadly, remarks by Shuvai Mahofa a minister of State that the army should take over, are proof beyond reasonable doubt that the army or certain sections of it are clearly thinking of a military solution to the succession impasse,” warned Biti.

Last Saturday, Tsvangirai and Mujuru, sent fresh shivers down the spines of panicking Zanu PF bigwigs when they publicly flaunted their readiness to join forces against the ruling party ahead of Zimbabwe’s eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

In a move that political analysts described as “very significant”, Mujuru — now leader of the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) — held hands and also joined Tsvangirai during another massive demonstration in Gweru that was organised by the MDC.

And in a reciprocal development that was also variously described as “historic”, Mujuru — who was hounded out Zanu PF in December 2014 on untested allegations of plotting to oust and assassinate Mugabe — was later joined by the MDC top brass at her own rally in the same city.

However, Tsvangirai, through his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, insisted that what was more important at the moment was building confidence among the would-be bed mates.

“The most important thing is not time but the confidence that is being built at the moment.

“The actual coalition should be the last thing and what should be at the front burner is convergence on issues that  we already agree on, issues such as the economic crisis which the country is facing and against which we are demonstrating on the 26th, the issue of electoral reforms and others which will help build our confidence,” Tamborinyoka said.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure suggested that the coalition should do a double balancing act to make sure that the coalition neither comes too early to allow Zanu PF to infiltrate it or too late as to deny it the chance to campaign.

“On the contrary, the news of a coalition is coming rather too early for my liking because Zanu PF will come up with mechanisms to scuttle it,” Masunungure said.

“Yet it is also important that the coalition has time to campaign with one voice, come up with a consensus candidate to challenge for presidency and sell him or her with a unified voice but then again I still think there is enough time for that. This is not an American election that runs for two to three years.”

But Biti suggested that there was need to move with speed saying it was hard to imagine that the State has become so weak, fragile and vulnerable.

“It is hard to imagine a period in history where all possible fatalities have converged at one point in time rendering an already morbid State helpless, hapless and awe struck…the Emperor has no clothes.

“The fact of the matter is that Mugabe single-handedly has become the prison guard arresting the country’s creativity or capacity for self-recreation and self-reproduction. Put simply it is now self-evident that this country can only move forward after his departure,” said Biti.

Comments (4)

Strategically, the coalition is better off splitting Mugabe's support base by half. This can allow the main player in opposition to maintain its support base. A political deal to share power between the winning opposition and parties which are cable of effectively splitting Mugabe's support base must be entered before 2018. Therefore a coalition should allow Mujuru and Tsvangirai to contest as individuals with the aim of splitting Mugabe Mugabe's support base while maintaining the support base of another candidate. Then share power later.

Ziziharinanyanga - 19 August 2016

Do not hurry. Let the process take its course. We have a lot more processes taking place to weaken our common enemy, ZANU PF. It is advisable that conclusions are done right towards elections. You hurry processes at your own peril. Remember ZANU PF has the CIO at its disposal and can be best placed to thwart the progressive forces if we give them the real picture now. We all know what we want and let the individual efforts work for the common good. Come elections, the self becomes inextricably part of the progressive forces and we become a force to send ZANU PF down the toilet into the septic tanks, where they rightly belong as they are rotten and smelling.

Zvichapera - 19 August 2016

there will be no outright win first round.After that there will be a rerun then those opossing should make a pack and finish off Zanu pf.if Morgan beat Mugabe in 2008 then why not today.PEOPLE like Biti are power hungry they abondoned the struggle becz he was given some Us dollars by GONO

TARUZA - 19 August 2016

Clueless politicians wasting time talking nonsense.A coalition of nonentities will not dislodge the revolutionary ZANU PF from power no matter how Editor you try to put lipstick on lips of a frog.

tkpb - 21 August 2016

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