Tsvangirai lifts Mujuru's mood

HARARE - Opposition MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, yesterday shot down Zanu PF’s “premature celebrations” and also asserted that he would form a coalition alliance with former Vice President Joice Mujuru despite her party’s crushing defeat to the ruling party in last weekend’s Bikita mini-poll.

Tsvangirai’s affirmation of his pending electoral pact with Mujuru also came as pro-democracy groups were putting pressure on the former prime minister in the inclusive government to finalise his coalition talks with her, in the interest of the country.

At the same time, analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said Tsvangirai’s confirmation of his commitment to work with Mujuru, which came days after her Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) suffered a heavy defeat in the Bikita West by-election, would send fresh shivers down the spines of President Robert Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF bigwigs — who had started celebrating, thinking that this would smother the mooted opposition alliance.

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“The president (Tsvangirai) said one swallow does not make a summer and Bikita West is the swallow. It was a farcical election that cannot be used to measure someone’s popularity,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka told the Daily News.

“Yes, there are some people who want to use it to undermine the coalition. However, we will not allow that because we have already decided to do a cow-horn formation on Zanu PF.

“There is a national sentiment out there that we should form a coalition and that is what we are going to do. It is Zimbabwe against Mugabe.

“The decision has already been made by the (MDC’s) national council that we are going into a coalition with Mujuru ... and since the president is the one negotiating for the coalition, he is gathering views from the people so that when he negotiates he does so from an informed position,” Tamborinyoka added.

“Communities are giving the thumbs up to the proposed alliance of opposition parties, expressing hope that the new government will deal with the interests and concerns of ethnic minorities such as the Tonga people.

“They are welcoming the alliance of opposition parties and the creation of a common front in 2018, saying it gives them hope that this time around, Zanu PF will be consigned to the dustbins of history,” he added.

Tamborinyoka spoke as Tsvangirai has been on a whirlwind tour of Matabeleland, where he has been consulting his supporters about the mooted grand opposition alliance which analysts say presents the country with the best opportunity to end Zanu PF’s misrule in the much-awaited 2018 national elections.

Tsvangirai’s confirmation of his commitment to an opposition alliance also comes as Mujuru and her fledgling ZPF party are still smarting from a crushing defeat that they suffered at the hands of Zanu PF in last Saturday’s Bikita by-election.

Since Mujuru joined hands with Tsvangirai and marched with him on the streets of Gweru in August last year — in a rare public display of unity among the opposition — there have been growing calls by fed up citizens for the formation of a grand opposition alliance.

Tsvangirai, the only opposition leader to have defeated Mugabe in a poll, has been holding secret talks with Mujuru and leaders of other smaller opposition parties to form the much-talked about pact which they say will be in place before the end of the year.

But following ZPF’s drubbing in Bikita West, pro-democracy groups have ramped up their calls for opposition parties to move with speed to finalise their talks.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Monday, Mujuru said the results of the Bikita West by-election, in which her candidate Kudakwashe Gopo polled poorly, had still demonstrated that ZPF was minimally set to eat into Zanu PF’s support base in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national polls.

The statement came after analysts had said, in the wake of ZPF’s heavy shellacking in the mini-poll, that Mujuru was now left with “a huge mountain to climb” regarding her capacity to defeat Mugabe and his warring ruling party in next year’s elections.

ZPF was participating in its first elections, since it was launched last year, with political analysts saying ahead of the Bikita poll that it would provide a litmus test for Mujuru.

Political analysts were also in agreement yesterday that in the wake of the Bikita West carnage, the opposition needed to finalise their coalition quickly, with Tsvangirai leading it.

“(Tsvangirai) is the best foot forward, no doubt about that. But he must be magnanimous, crafty, humble and inclusive in the manner in which he approaches the coalition talks,” said civic leader Gladys Hlatywayo.

“The situation requires astute leadership that is able to remain focused on the end-game and rise above petty differences of yester years. It equally requires effectively dealing with internal discontent and the divisive politics of positions,” she added.

Phillan Zamchiya, an Oxford scholar, said Tsvangirai and Mujuru needed to broaden the coalition, as well as mobilise and register new voters.

“As 2018 approaches, how one of Zimbabwe’s battle-hardened politicians, Tsvangirai, will position his party and interests — visa-a-vis the growing inter-party cry to retire Mugabe — will be very important,” Zamchiya told the Daily News.

“Uniting his party and building inclusive alliances, not only for the numbers, but for de-securitisation, democratisation, de-politicisation and de-escalating violence in the rural sector will be critical in unlocking and harvesting the rural vote.

“Some of the potential partners might even be located in Zanu PF,” he added.

The director of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said the outcome of the Bikita by-election was a wake-up call to the opposition.

“The Bikita by-election outcome has a bigger story. Unless there are tectonic shifts in opposition politics and their tomfoolery and kindergarten behaviour, with or without Mugabe, Zanu PF will be in charge after 2018.

“The idea of cherry-picking coalition partners and excluding others will result in a huge electoral defeat. Tsvangirai, (Tendai) Biti, (Lovemore) Madhuku, Mujuru, (Welshman) Ncube, (Simba) Makoni, (Dumiso) Dabengwa et al are all needed to put their numbers and ideas together to confront the system.

“Magnanimous leadership is required in this interregnum. There is no room for politics of positions. We need to agree that opposition is in a position of weakness, hence the need to coalesce,” Ruhanya said.

Analysts have consistently said that a united opposition, fighting with one purpose, would bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule — especially at this time when the country’s economy is dying and the increasingly frail nonagenarian is battling to keep his warring Zanu PF united.

Comments (18)

The problem of politics in Zimbabwe and many low income countries in general is that we tend to idolize individuals not institutions. Yes Mujuru, Tsvangirayi, Madhuku Biti, Ncube Makoni, Dabengwa etc. are very critical in the next election. However, opposition politics ashould be shaped by ideas and an agenda that shows Zimbabweans a differnt future. We need to rethink how we do politics, we need a panoramic view of things and say what do we stand for. Then you can prosecute that case to the Zimbabwean people. Of course the context and culture of Zimbabwe is unique, and should be taken into account, but the basic of what the majority wants and needs are the same: Safe and Secure livelihoods, an economy that can support jobs, employment opportunities for the young people, a decent retirement for the elderly, a healthcare system that i run by competent and compassionate people, a complete and unequivocal wholesome rejection of corruption, and restoration of public faith in institutions of government including a clear and respected seperation of powers.

gudo - 26 January 2017

Working with tsvangirayi will be the end of Ma Mujuru in polotics

Tengenegen - 26 January 2017

The so called coalition wont succeed because of personal leadership interests among the parties leaders. If they were serious about unity , the parties would just dissolve themselves and unite as one political party.

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 26 January 2017

The type of policians we have in this country is parthetic,to say the nicest.It will take citizens outcry for gvt to repair the roads.The whole parliament not a word from them.This is the real reasn we have MPs in parly,opposition n ruling.They are supposed to summon the president on this issue of roads.A worthless parliament full of monkeys debating on hynas .Do they use the same roads as us I wonder.The fellow from Chitungwiza does he fly into Harare?He has never raised a fingure on this Seke road disaster.Its parthetic when Africans run down countries for the sake of self rule that is far removed from service delivery.Do whites have to come back to save Africa from Africans?I saw Salisbury in 1980, boy it was a jewel ,as Mwalimu put it.Now?Goodness me.A very filthy city.Just to fix roads is a mammoth task? But flying out on holidays pocketing millions in allowances is the best that can come out of this leadership.Dont give us this crap sanctions story,its dead rate excuse.FIX THE ROADS.

viola gwena - 27 January 2017

I can tell yu where to find the money.Put a NO FLY ZONE on all ministers plus presidents.No pay for all ministers and mps for a whole yr.Not even allowances.No hotel expenditures even local.Cancell out all fuel coupons for ministers and mps.This money saved in one month ,will be enuf to repair Seke road ,30kms.

viola gwena - 27 January 2017

This coalition thing is not a strategic thing, it is all about the money, its just a marriage of convenience. The MDC knows that the donor is most likely to pour all its funding to the ZIMPF coffers for 2018 elections just like betting on a new horse hence such a situation will deprive the MDC in all its formations the funds which they have been enjoying since 1998.

Christopher Makura - 27 January 2017

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TFFLOORING - 27 January 2017

mai mujuru vakabuma kubikita kuita vice precident watsvangirai saka hokoyo moto then chamisa will become prime minister others deputies

chinja - 27 January 2017

Politics is about quantities if one has huge number of followers that is good for him or her and he can have a join venture with someone who has equally or almost same number of followers of which if combined can win an election and that is where this thing of coalition can come in . But as it is now forming coalition with someone with 2000 followers is not viable maybe working together yes as political parties it works but not to a point of coalition . .Remember citizens want the next govt to be formed by pple who have never killed a single Zimbabwean who do not some huge businesses which they can not tell the nation how they got them . Yes we want to start from scratch new govt not contaminated by those who have been in govt since 80 and still want to be in govt after failing dismally to run this country never a new ball game that is what can serve this country from the rot .

Diibulaanyika - 27 January 2017

It is very critical not to have buya zonke in a coalition bcoz at the end of the day we mighty end up clutching thin air again . Remember some of these buyazonkes are sikelems

Diibulaanyika - 27 January 2017

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felix - 27 January 2017

@Gudo, @Viola, @Dibulaanyika - many thanks. We need people that are willing to roll up their sleeves to pull the economy of this country out of the current quagmire. We need to open the floor to the politicians for mature debates on what policies, measures and controls they hope to put in place to achieve this as an SLA-type of insurance. Sadly, we seem to be very far from this kind of objective as a country, hence personal glory seems to triumph over national ambition/objectives.

Sagitarr - 27 January 2017

Very Interesting analysis above. Only Unity of the opposition can save our country and economy. It doesn't matter who they agree to lead the Coalition the sooner the better for the electorate to know the new face of Post Mugabe era. We need enough time to have them joint rallies so the electorate knows in time that we are all together in this foe the benefit off the country. Bikita West by election was the best eye opener for you all Zim opposition. zanu is not dead yet. zanu is not gone yet. warring factions will always come together IN ORDER TO KEEP POWER WITHIN THEIR PARTY. LET THE LOVE OF OUR COUNTRY BRING US TOGETHER. Lets have that Democratic Party vs Republican Party.

NEWNATION - 27 January 2017

The coalition route does not help in any way towards the eradication of the socio economic problems we are facing as a country. As it stands we are on the verge of introducing a new election system,the biometric voting system, that believe you me is going to be abused by the Zanu Pf regime in regging the elections. What I sincerely believe this coalition needs to do is to look at how the Zanu Pf government has misruled the country and seek justice for starters before taking part in any election. They need to account for every single crime they committed since 1980. We have the Gukurahundi in Matebeleland, crimes committed against the citizens of this country during The Emergency Powers Act, Political Assasinations ( the infamous road accidents), Farm killings during the chaotic farm invasations, enforcement of all the judgments of the SADC Tribunal Court cases, 2008 election murders etc. By taking part in elections we are only legitimising the ZANU PF government and we have ourselves to blame.

Mark Mukanya - 28 January 2017

Mujuru does need Tsvangirai,she can go it alone-whether winning or losing.Itz Tsvangirai who want Mujuru hoping to eat into Mugabe support base

addmore gudo - 30 January 2017

in fact Mujuru does not need Tsvangirai

addmore gudo - 30 January 2017

thanks ...viola, for your comment but to add on that,,, plz guys am noit a prophet but the coalitiuon of opposition parties will not win especially if the following problems are not solved , 1. urban constituencies have an average of 6000 vorters per constituent, but rural constituencies have an average of about 22000.... hence opposition should fight for (I) registration of urban vorters, (ii) penetration of rural constituencies; again, in rural areas zanu pf will grabe all former MDC supporters thru the use of violence, the ' handigoni kunyora' formular' such that they will assist you to vote for zanu pf, partisan distribution of seed, fertiliser and food, threats of expalsion from villages by sabhukuz and chiefs if you support the opposition; and the strong mechanism of institutional violence which is systematic and is engineered by tha army and the police.... plz Dr Tsvangirayi and Dr Mujuru read this and fight make positive changes these issues if you are to make an impact in the 2018 plebiscite per se. PLZ READ THIS TSVANGIRAYI AND WORK HARD TO CORRECT THIS.

muKristu - 30 January 2017

The issue is not who needs who. Personal egos are not a priority here.the real issue is that Mugabe must go so that the people of zimbabwe can persue an agenda of economic prosperity for all,accountabilty and respect for human rights

free - 31 January 2017

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