BY SILAS NKALA
OPPOSITION political parties have expressed differing views on calls by activists and other stakeholders to form a united Matabeleland front ahead of the 2023 elections.
A number of political parties have been formed in Matabeleland in recent years, with most of them campaigning on the back of marginalisation and underdevelopment.
Some of the parties have never participated in any election.
Activists said political parties from the region were failing to make an impact during elections because of not coalescing on issues and form election pacts.
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) leader Mqondisi Moyo shot down the proposal saying his secessionist party was pushing a different ideology from other parties.
“While a coalition is ideal in certain situations, this proposal is a non- starter given that MRP’s ideology and that of parties such as Zapu are worlds apart. They have different, irreconcilable objectives,” Moyo said.
“Zapu is pursuing a Zimbabwean agenda. It is one of the many political formations which hope to be in charge of Zimbabwe. As such, Zapu hopes to maintain the status quo, in which Matabeleland and Midlands remain Zimbabwean, under discriminative rule.”
Zapu spokesperson Mso Ndlovu said his party supported the idea of a regional electoral pact.
“We fully support the idea of a coalition of all like-minded individuals and or organizations. However, the nature and spirit of the coalition must be led by the people who should decide the configuration and architecture of the coalition,” Ndlovu said.
Freedom Alliance secretary-general Njabulo Ngwenya said coalitions of political parties were key.
“Currently we are building an all-inclusive alliance that transcends beyond mere political arrangements and individual leaders. The problem of Matabeleland is not as a result of a drought of leaders but that of collective leadership vision and principles,” Ngwenya added.
Political analyst Effie Ncube said change would never happen without an alliance of democratic forces.
“Those who still think they alone have the solution and that they can successfully go it alone are seriously deluded,” he said.
“The task ahead is too big for one organisation or individual. Political unity will help to overcome stagnation and boost political, civic and electoral participation which in turn will raise the chances for change.”