THE ruling Zanu PF has admitted that the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T poses a serious challenge to its bid to retain power in next year’s general elections, describing other opposition parties pushing for a grand coalition with the former premier as “phantom” movements.
Source: Zanu PF admits MDC-T headache – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 13, 2017
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU/ BLESSED MHLANGA
Zanu PF politburo member and Higher Education minister, Jonathan Moyo, made the observations in a tweet yesterday, saying “a coalition of individuals is no opposition”.
“A grand coalition in Zimbabwe is by definition untenable because there are many opposition individuals, but only one real opposition party, MDC-T,” he tweeted.
“The first rule in electoral strategy is to distinguish between phantom and real opposition.”
Moyo added: “These are just conveniences of opposition individuals; but not political parties, no. We need a functional and non-bambazonke criteria and evidence-based definition of what constitutes an opposition political party.
“What is possible in Zimbabwe is a non-grand coalition of opposition individuals, whose ideology is to share positions before the elections.”
His remarks came hard on the heels of last week’s messy break up of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF), in a development likely to derail coalition talks among opposition leaders.
Moyo dismissed other opposition political parties like ZimPF, Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (Elton Mangoma), Zapu (Dumiso Dabengwa), MKD (Simba Makoni), MDC (Welshman Ncube), Transform Zimbabwe (Jacob Ngarivhume), Zim First (Maxwell Shumba), as just “convenient homes of individual political players and therefore with no impact”.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said he agreed with Moyo’s assessment, but warned that his party leader would not be blinded from pursuing coalition talks with fellow opposition leaders to dislodge Mugabe.
“In a way, Moyo is on point. We have stated on many times without number that MDC-T is the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We are the real deal, the only game in town. This is the cold hard fact and none other Moyo appears to be in agreement with us on this one. However, we are not a Big Brother. We are humble, accommodative, magnanimous and patriotic.”
But, PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume dismissed Moyo, saying his statements were a smokescreen to hoodwink the opposition to dump the proposed coalition project.
“If people cannot see the mischief in the statement by Moyo, then we keep underestimating Zanu PF’s intellectual dictatorship,” he said.
“When a bully says they want to fight you alone, it means they are afraid that you will group up and then fight.
“And when you are goat and you receive praise from a crocodile about the quality of your meat it is time to be very afraid. It is all part of Moyo’s smokes and mirrors game. Coalitions are not of parties alone but of individuals, organisations, students and churches among others.”
Political commentator, Douglas Mandaza, said Moyo could be lulling the opposition to make it lose sight of coalitions.
“It’s a political strategy to make MDC-T more arrogant and believe they can win 2018 without a coalition, MDC’s need to unite at all cost,” he said.