It's Tsvangirai or no one else: Mutasa

HARARE - Former Presidential Affairs minister and one of the caretaker leaders of the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party, Didymus Mutasa, says the popular former prime minister during the government of national unity, Morgan Tsvangirai, is the only person “capable and deserving” of leading the country’s mooted opposition coalition.

Speaking to the Daily News in an interview yesterday, Mutasa said while there were many people who aspired to lead the planned grand alliance, only Tsvangirai had the support and “the credentials” to take that position — completely rubbishing in the process both the capacity and chances of former Vice President Joice Mujuru to lead the opposition.

Mutasa was effusive in his praise of Tsvangirai, making special mention of the way the MDC president had persevered against all odds in his push for a more democratic Zimbabwe, including taking on President Robert Mugabe and a Zanu PF that often behaved thuggishly when challenged.

Mutasa’s sentiments resonate with those of a large cross section of Zimbabweans, including political analysts and civic groups, who all say that the former trade union leader is the only opposition leader capable of giving Mugabe and the warring Zanu PF a run for their money in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.
The gushing Mutasa described Tsvangirai as a “real fighter for democracy”, adding that the dogged former premier was the “natural leader” for the opposition.

“For me Tsvangirai is the natural leader of the coalition because of who he is ... What the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) is today stands for what Tsvangirai and the MDC built. The rest of us are latecomers in this game.
“We want a leader who will do what we thought Mugabe would do, but failed to do, and as ZPF we want to have discussions about who should lead the coalition because when we wanted to do it while we were still with Mujuru she prevaricated,” Mutasa told the Daily News.

“As a party we cannot accept a situation where Mujuru leads the coalition having proved her lack of capacity with ZPF, although she is welcome to be part of the coalition because we need everyone,” he added without hiding his disdain for the leader of the National People’s Party (NPP).
The former senior Cabinet minister and other ZPF bigwigs have been engaging in an ugly feud with Mujuru, ever since their spectacular public fallout last month.

This happened after Mujuru announced that she had expelled Mutasa, another ZPF elder Rugare Gumbo and five other party heavyweights — on account of them being alleged Zanu PF agents, and working to topple her from her then interim ZPF position.
But no sooner had she announced her surprise decision than the situation turned into a complete farce, when Mutasa and Gumbo announced at their own press conference that they had also similarly and summarily expelled Mujuru from ZPF.

Mujuru was later dealt a further body blow when she suffered mass desertions, including receiving resignations from some of her longtime top aides such as Sylvester Nguni, Ray Kaukonde and retired brigadier-general Aggripa Mutambara.
Last week, Mujuru moved to formally cut her ties with ZPF when she formed the NPP, ending her relationship with her erstwhile colleagues which dated to their time in Zanu PF.

Before problems rocked ZPF, Mujuru had been working behind the scenes with Tsvangirai and other smaller parties towards the formation of the planned grand opposition coalition.
And Tsvangirai has since given Mujuru some political oxygen of sorts, despite his being disappointed by the ructions which eventually led to her departure from ZPF.

However, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti said yesterday that the question of who should lead the mooted opposition coalition was not an issue at the moment as there were more pressing issues to deal with.
“The issue of leadership is the least difficult of the hurdles we are faced with because coalitions are already there in the Coalition of Democrats (Code) and Nera, but the challenge is bringing the leaders from the two groups under one roof to discuss why we need a coalition.

“As long as there are some among us who think they can win against Mugabe by themselves we are not going anywhere. We need a rebirth, a reawakening of the opposition in this country,” Biti said, adding that Mutasa was, however, entitled to his views.
On her part, Mujuru herself has said that she remains confident about her involvement in the mooted grand opposition coalition ahead of the 2018 polls.

“In line with our core values of inclusivity, we remain committed to a coalition of all progressive and democratic opposition forces to ensure we end the country’s autocratic rule in the 2018 elections.
“To that end, as the NPP we would like to inform our members, supporters, sympathisers, well-wishers and Zimbabweans from across the political divide that we remain committed to a democratic Zimbabwe.

“We remain builders of Zimbabwe in peace. We are the future, and we have the solutions,” she said last week as she announced the formation of the NPP.
Analysts have previously told the Daily News that a united opposition, fighting with one purpose, can finally bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule, especially at a time that the nonagenarian is fighting to keep his warring Zanu PF united.

They also say Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose late husband Solomon was the first black post-independence army commander, could provide the much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the smooth transfer of power if they win the 2018 elections.

Comments (14)

Nyangwe zvazvao saMutasa vane nhamo dzavo nesu, apa vawooreeteka.

selele - 6 March 2017

APA ndipo chete pataurwa dama nava Mutasa. Zvana Biti izvo ndezve shaisano asi anonyatsoziva kuti hapana chinobuda kana Save vasipo pamberi

Matsotsi - 6 March 2017

Haa Mutasa wadhakwa ne bronco manje wakungobhereketa, nokuti zimpf without Mujuru is dead. She was the face of the party, and she goes with her support. Uku kwangove kubhereketa kekuda kushaisana naMai mujuru. Since 2002 Tsvangirai was beaten by Mugabe left right and centre, achingoita zvemebhebhi. What new trick can he put on the table now. Mavakuda kuti furira vaMutasa, kuti titungamimirwe ne dofo ku exam, hatidi, ngavambo trya Mai Mujuru ivavo, kana vakundwawo tozoona zvekuita pemberi

GLADYS GOREDEMA - 6 March 2017

coalition yachiiko mdc-t go it alone

josphat mugadzaweta - 6 March 2017

Good endorsement for Tsvangirai from Mr Mutasa, however to be endorsed by a fellow leader should not be mistaken as an automatic qualification to lead the Coalition. Tsvangirai should view his endorsement as a step in the right direction for him. Both NERA and CoDe should quickly come together and make arrangements to have Primaries for All aspiring Candidates to come up with opposition candidate to lead the fight against Zanu and their candidate Mugabe for now or their preferred Successor. It is crucial for us opposite select our own preferred Successor to Mugabe through the ballot. Opposition Candidate should be picked by the rest of the 10 Provinces in a primary election in order to enjoy 100% support in the opposition needed to out vote zanu and their Candidate Mugabe or whoever. There are lots of qualified Zimbabweans with credible record to lead the Opposition Parties Coalition and win as long as they enjoy a United opposition support only to name but a few Mliswa , Masiyiwa , Chamisa , Dabengwa, Makoni, Tsangirai, Mujuru, Biti , Ncube, Manyika, Moyo Nkosana, Mapfumo Thomas, Khuphe, Kaukonde, Misihayirambwi-Mushonga etc. All these individuals will do a Fab job than Mugabe. All they need is to allow the Zimbabean opposition to choose/select them in a Transparent format and attract every opposition vote in the polls. If Tsvangirai deserves it more than others he will win the primaries and go on to lead the Coalition and ultimately succeed Mugabe or retire him properly. Any failure by the opposition to come up with an acceptable process is equivalent to rigging elections in favour a zanu. If you win zvine mutsindo zanu haina chance. But having all 42 opposition leaders running for office is guarantee to zanu and Mugabe continuation. Biti is right all parties come together for the benefit of the country and the country will look after you. JUST MY THOUGHTS

NEWNATION - 6 March 2017

Any method by the opposition to select our successor to Mugabe run the risk of being viewed as undemocratic and the candidate being viewed as imposed/imported and may not enjoy 100% opposition votes crucial to retire Mugabe and condemn zanu once and for all to the dust bin of history.

NEWNATION - 6 March 2017

save ngatifambe pore pore kwatabva kwava kure zvavana mai mujuru mutasa and othersizvo ngatisiyane nazvo macio ezanu aye hapana zvitsva apo t6inovaziva chavari kuda kuti mumedzwe nezanu

ron - 7 March 2017

As expected by all right thinking Zimbos Morgan is the obvious first choice to lead the coalition .But working with zvifukuto and other CIO agents would need to be very cautious and very alert till to the election day .Never trust too much my uncle Mudidimas he can change mind anytime and destroy everything in a split of a second .Him and Themba same same /

Diibulaanyika - 7 March 2017

Mutasa you are confused, retire from politics and spend your last years in peace. Tsvangirai you are endorsing is also a gold digger who asked for sanctions and the same massess whom he wanted votes from suffered.

#BringBackOurFlag - 7 March 2017

Mutasa you are confused, retire from politics and spend your last years in peace. Tsvangirai you are endorsing is also a gold digger who asked for sanctions and the same masses whom he wanted votes from suffered.

#BringBackOurFlag - 7 March 2017

KKKKKKK so we still have fools who think this country is under sanctions and that nonsense was cooked by zanu some fools swallowed it . The last sanctions on this country were f imposed on the Smith regime and then few years ago followed sanctions were imposed onto individual political thugs up to this day

Diibulaanyika - 7 March 2017

Tsvangirai ringave dofo zvaro but he is far better than what Zanu-PF can ever offer AND has most Support among oppositional voices. He has gone through a lot and I think deserves it. One good Thing about him is that unlike e.g. Grace Mugabe, idofo rinoziva kuti ndiridofo. Such people can achieve more because they are not pretentious. I don't like him but might find myself voting for him.

selele - 7 March 2017

While I agree with selele on having Tsvangirai standing for the coalition, I beg to differ on his opinion that he should lead the coalition simply because he has been through a lot. I think that is why we end up with people who refuse to go claiming that they died for the country so they do no see why they should go anywhere. Right from the onset, they should be made to understand that they are in those positions to serve the people and when their time is up, they should joyfully or tearfully leave. Yes there are benefits to enjoy while you are serving, but its not because you are there because you went through a lot. It should never be for what they went through. We cannot afford to keep on making the same mistake comrades.

Willy Wepa Ntazinduna - 7 March 2017

This coalition proposal is very wrong in many ways. Its more of people angling to get something for personal gains than anything else. All this scrambling to like mdc-t is abnormal. parties or groups pushing for coalition are bringing nothing to the table, they have no chip on their shoulder to bargain with, which makes the whole issue a political scam. Mdc-t can entertain these people at its own peril. This is pure daylight robbery or is hijacking The likely scenario is zanu pf will announce elections results in its favour as usual, then the coalition will demand to change its face then ka boom it explodes. Mdc-t must go it solo they have won before, unless they dont have confidence and capacity to form and run a government. I think a health situation is after elections a winning party may if it wishes so appoint individuals who will add value to its cabinet who are from other parties with no strings attached.

X-MAN IV - 7 March 2017

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