Fungi Kwaramba 20 April 2017
HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former Vice President
Joice Mujuru yesterday fired warning shots at President Robert Mugabe and
his warring ruling Zanu PF – signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
in Harare ahead of the finalisation of the planned grand coalition as the
make-or-break 2018 elections approach.
This comes as the mindless bloodletting that is devouring Zanu PF has
escalated in the past few weeks, resulting even in the party’s national
political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, coming under serious pressure to
resign from his post over a slew of charges – including bizarre claims of
plotting to oust Mugabe from power.
Describing yesterday’s developments as historic, a buoyant Tsvangirai said
the two opposition leading lights had decided to join hands after
realising that Mugabe and Zanu PF had “no clue” about how to end the
myriad challenges afflicting Zimbabwe.
“We have chosen to give hope to the people of Zimbabwe … that indeed
there is a bright light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
“We have taken the first step to bring all Zimbabweans under one roof so
that we can work together to remove the unmitigated repression and
misgovernance that pervades our lives.
“I am pleased to inform the nation that today we have signed a memorandum
with Mai Mujuru of the National People’s Party (NPP) … to establish a
pre-election alliance en route to the establishment of a coalition
government which shall drive a comprehensive democratisation and
“This is just the beginning of the building blocks towards establishing a
broad alliance to confront Zanu PF between now and 2018,” Tsvangirai said.
The indefatigable former labour union leader emphasised that the door had
not been slammed on other smaller parties being part of the pact, with
“similar arrangements” to be decided with them soon.
“While political parties have their role in nation-building, it must be
understood that they are not the only key stakeholders.
“We are in this together with other key stakeholders such as traditional
leaders, the Church, labour, vendors, war veterans, civic society,
business and the generality of Zimbabweans.
“This is our collective struggle and I call upon the people of Zimbabwe to
join hands with us and play their part as well so that we can reclaim our
country, our freedom and our dignity,” Tsvangirai added.
“Even at the ripe old age of 93, president Mugabe knows that the country’s
crisis is unsustainable. Every Zimbabwean from every station of life knows
“So, we should all stand together in unison and say enough is enough. As
president Mugabe enters the sunset of his life, it is incumbent upon all
of us to pick the pieces and rebuild our country together.
“I hope the understanding we reached today, and which we will reach with
many others, will culminate in a solid political co-operation agreement
that should usher in a new governance culture in our country,” he said
On her part, Mujuru promised “greater things” for long-suffering
“We were being asked by people wherever we would go about when we would
form the coalition. It took about six months to discuss the coalition.
“We know your expectations are very high … what we want to see is a
greater Zimbabwe again … We are going to deliver a new Zimbabwe,” she
According to the two opposition leaders, the MoU would act as a roadmap
towards forming the planned grand coalition which is expected to be in
place before next year’s eagerly-anticipated national elections.
Optimism has been high ever since Tsvangirai and Mujuru publicly flaunted
their readiness to join forces against the ruling party, when they
appeared together in Gweru last August.
In a move that political analysts described as “very significant”, Mujuru
held hands and also joined Tsvangirai then during a massive demonstration
in Gweru that was organised by the former prime minister in the government
of national unity’s MDC.
Analysts have also repeatedly said Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom
de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose 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 elections again.
However, they have also warned that without a broad coalition involving
all the major opposition players, Zanu PF would use “its usual thuggish
and foul methods” to retain power in 2018.
In 2008, her late husband Rex was accused by Mugabe and other Zanu PF
bigwigs of having engineered the 93-year-old’s stunning electoral defeat
to Tsvangirai in that year’s hotly disputed polls.
Last week, a bullish Tsvangirai vowed to finish off Mugabe and his
deeply-divided Zanu PF – adding that he stood ready to lead the planned
Speaking in an interview with the Daily News then, Tsvangirai said he had
“no doubt whatsoever” that the MDC – working together with other
opposition parties – would, like it did in 2008, once again defeat Zanu PF
in 2018 and bring to an end Mugabe’s long but tumultuous rule.
“I stand ready to heed the calls by Zimbabweans that I lead … Indeed,
when I moved across the country, the people said I should lead.
“So, if that is what people want, then I am ready to lead the coalition.
But this should not be about individuals but about Zimbabwe.
“Indeed, the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe is not between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai, but between long-suffering Zimbabweans and a heartless,
looting Zanu PF,” Tsvangirai said.
“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 elections you have people who will say `I
was not part of the talks’ … so due diligence is very important,” added
the dogged former labour union leader, as he explained why it was taking
long to conclude the mooted coalition talks.
Soon after, Mujuru signalled her readiness to join Tsvangirai in the
planned electoral pact when she said the mooted grand opposition coalition
was the only way of extricating the country from its economic problems.
“As NPP, we believe that what ought to be 37 years of independence has
been turned into 37 years of slavery and misery to Zimbabweans.
“We believe we have capacity as Zimbabweans to extricate ourselves out of
the social, economic and political mess we find ourselves in as a result
of Zanu PF’s failed government.
“It is time that all progressive forces within the rank and file of
opposition parties put their differences aside and face the failed Zanu PF
government as a united front by every constitutional means necessary come
“Our people never went to war so that the destiny of our country can be
turned into political dynasties.
“Zimbabweans deserve to be free and that freedom has to be exercised now.
To that end, as NPP we urge all the progressive forces within the rank and
file of the opposition parties of this country to go back to the basics of
the revolutionary ideals of oneness.
“It is our belief as NPP that what divides us as opposition political
parties is smaller than what binds us as a country. Our motto should
therefore be united we stand, divided we fall,” she said.