Gumbo warns of Zanu PF infiltration

HARARE - Opposition leaders intending to form a grand coalition against President Robert must be cautious of being infiltrated by Zanu PF, Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) interim co-leader Rugare Gumbo has warned.

Under pressure from long-suffering Zimbabweans, opposition parties — including Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC and Joice Mujuru’s newly-formed National People’s Party (NPP) — are currently in talks to come up with a united front in the hope of finally bringing to an end Mugabe’s 37-year rule in next year’s crunch elections.

However, haggling, jostling and inflated egos have impeded progress towards the pact amid fears that time is running out, with some opposition leaders endorsing Tsvangirai as the alliance’s leader.

But Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that while the coalition needed to be concluded in time to allow its candidate ample time to campaign, rushing the process could backfire in spectacular fashion.

“While we appreciate the people’s impatience, it is our duty as leaders to ensure that the process is not dictated by events outside, that we should be in total control of the process and controlling events to avoid mistakes that could be fatal because some of us are aware of what the animal we are dealing with (Zanu PF) is capable of doing,” the former Zanu PF spokesperson said.

“We must, as leaders, try to as much as we can to manage the emotions our people have on this coalition issue. We know they want it like yesterday but we can’t just say because people want it today, so let us have it now. We risk being infiltrated if we are that reckless.

We must be able to control events and not be led by them. That is why we are in leadership.”

Gumbo’s sentiments dovetail with those expressed by Tsvangirai in an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Monday when he said while “the commitment towards forming a grand coalition is there . . . but we must exercise due diligence in regard to our partners”.

“Imagine at the end, just before the elections, you have people who will say ‘I was not part of the talks’ . . . so due diligence is very important,” he said.

Gumbo said his party has not yet deliberated on who should lead the coalition owing to internal problems which saw ZPF part ways with Mujuru, who went on to form the NPP.

“It is premature for us to discuss coalition leadership as we are trying to make progress towards our convention to elect substantive leadership after the split that destabilised our structures.

“We need to be more calculative to avoid the mistake we made with Mujuru, so we need to do some strategic planning and without that it is difficult to move ahead. We are coming through though,” Gumbo said.

However, Gumbo’s ZPF co-leader Didymus Mutasa has since expressed his personal opinion that he wants Tsvangirai to be the coalition leader.

Comments (4)

The longer this coalition issue drags on the more it appears its a leadership issue. What I cannot understand is the posturing by arrays of "opposition" parties that they have the people at heart yet they cannot be seen to be selfless in their approach and strategy to deliver what the people are cying for. So far, besides attack and counter attack politics in the newspapers, I am yet to hear and be convinced theirs is not a mere protest against Zanu-PF for being divorced, but the truth of what they stand for. A political party has to have an ideology, a clear ideology, as its bedrock to which people will be attracted and atune to. Without that even the dummest of Zimbabweans will struggle to find a reason to vote for it. Clarity of plans and direction of a political party is vital otherwise it will remain stuck in the fringes of the political field before fissling into political oblivion. Never in the history of our country has there been any better time for a good political party to easily bury the ruling party than now. Crying about this and that about Zanu-PF gonna not win the day. Instead a strategy and a clear course of action is the answer despite all odds. There will never be a party in government that can be dislodged without it employing all dirty tricks, even eliminations, to keep itself in power. Those who take it upon themselves to lead the opposition have to be seen in the front of the battlefield. This is the way things are, unfortunately, for our African politics.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 12 April 2017

I don't know why Tsvangirai has anything to do with Gumbo and Mutasa. Those two cannot be trusted. They are Zanu through and through.

Bee - 13 April 2017

MDC should be wary of characters like Mutasa and Gumbo.These two gentlemen do not have any supporters if the truth be told.I am quite positive that these are the two culprits who will disown the coalition a few day before the elections.I am taking their involvement in the coalition with a pinch of salt.

Janana wa Bikaz - 13 April 2017

Zanu PF infiltrators come from Zanu PF, just like gumbo & mutasa. Where do these guys stand - on the wall! They have already succeeded in neutralizing Joice Mujuru but their work is not finished just yet.

Sagitarr - 13 April 2017

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