Second opposition coalition emerges

Source: Second opposition coalition emerges – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya and Fungi Kwaramba      9 August 2017

HARARE – Another coalition of opposition parties – which are offshoots of
the ruling Zanu PF party – could emerge ahead of polls in 2018 to take on
President Robert Mugabe, whose party is already scheming against another
alliance consummated over the weekend, under the leadership of Morgan

The Daily News can report that opposition parties that were left out of
the weekend pact are unlikely to smoke a peace pipe with Tsvangirai’s
grouping because of their entrenched differences, and are already making
overtures towards conglomerating under a parallel initiative to be
negotiated through the Coalition for Democrats (Code).

Joice Mujuru, the former vice president and leader of the National
People’s Party (NPP), is tipped to lead the parallel initiative even
though her formation is not a signatory of Code.

Mujuru, who had a tiff with Tsvangirai over the leadership of the
coalition, was conspicuous by her absence at the MDC Alliance weekend
rally, which nominated the former trade unionist to lead the alliance.

Tsvangirai has gone to bed with parties led by his former
secretaries-general, namely Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
and Welshman Ncube’s smaller MDC formation.

He also received the thumbs up from Transform Zimbabwe, under Jacob
Ngarivhume; Zimbabwe People First, led by Agrippa Mutambara; Zanu Ndonga
and the Multi-Racial Christian Democratic Party.

The MDC leader’s supporters and those he went to bed with over the weekend
are resolute that Tsvangirai should lead the coalition, while those lining
behind Mujuru are questioning why they should trust a man who has
previously failed to end Mugabe’s rule.

Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa has already made it clear that his party will
not be joining Tsvangirai or the MDC. The former Zipra intelligence
supremo, who, along with former Finance minister Simba Makoni, broke ranks
with Zanu PF in early 2008 to form Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) party,
averred recently that they were negotiations their coalition under Code,
which Tsvangirai and his group had refused to be part of.

As such, Dabengwa – who now leads Zapu – does not see why they should
depart from Code to join the MDC Alliance even though other Code members
such as Ncube’s MDC and the PDP are now working with Tsvangirai.

Those in Code who are not part of the MDC Alliance include MKD, the
Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ), the Zimbabweans United for Democrats
and the Democratic Assembly for Restoration Empowerment.

“Did you want us to dump our parties to join an MDC alliance when we do
not even know what they are up to and what their strategy is?” Dabengwa
was recently quoted saying, rhetorically.

” . . . They decided to form their own coalition so should we also jump
ship and join them? We are not MDC. This is MDC going back to MDC”, said

Yesterday, leader of the RDZ, Elton Mangoma, said they will only accept a
leader who is ready to work under Code and with a supreme council.

“We have Code as a coalition that is already in place but it can be
improved to accommodate all. We have since drafted the framework, which we
have since given to parties and adopted,” said Mangoma.

“We therefore really don’t care about who will lead the coalition as long
as they are committed to having a supreme council that will ensure there
we will not be situations where the leader will use his power to pursue
those who did not back his or her presidency whether it’s Tsvangirai or

“The supreme council will also be a conflict resolution platform for the
coalition partners and address the issues and vaccinate against likely
mischief, including unilateralism, overruling collective decisions,
non-implementation of agreed positions, policy deviations, lack of
integrity, unreliability and violence,” added Mangoma.

Mujuru has lately been weighing her options and recently, she tried to
sign an agreement with parties uniting under Code only stopping short of
putting pen to paper for undisclosed reasons.

NPP secretary-general elect, Gift Nyandoro, said while the parties might
be having problems over leadership – there is agreement that the grand
coalition is the best way forward.

“Let us see the parties that are coming to our convention. I can speak
with authority that we need each other, of all the notable parties there
is a consensus that we need each other, of course they may be differences
on leadership but those sticking points will be resolved,” said Nyandoro.

According to sources, Dabengwa feels belittled by Tsvangirai and is
considering working closely with Mujuru, Makoni and Mangoma.

Political analysts were unanimous yesterday that the disunity within the
country’s opposition parties could result in two coalitions emerging.

Shakespeare Hamauswa, an analyst, opined yesterday that what is emerging
is a manifestation of complicated political gamesmanships in the country’s
body politic with the whole opposition if not all political parties likely
to explode.

“The recent violence in MDC-T therefore indicates how the opposition is
highly divided. The absence of (Thokozani) Khupe of MDC-T is not the only
sign since in other parties like PDP the likes of Gordon Moyo are against
the MDC Alliance,” said Hamauswa. “So in light of coalition talks, we are
going to see at least two big coalitions of opposition parties. Khupe and
team might join hands with Simba Makoni, Dabengwa, Mujuru and Priscilla

He was referring to the violence that engulfed the MDC on Sunday after
suspected thugs from the country’s main opposition party stormed a meeting
that was being attended by the party’s vice president Khupe in Bulawayo.

Although Tsvangirai has condemned the violence, there is growing disquiet
in his party over Khupe’s close ties with Mujuru.

Incidentally, both Khupe and Mujuru did not attend the MDC grand coalition
rally on Saturday but behind the scenes the two have been meeting, under
the Women Convergence Platform which is coordinated by Misihairabwi.

Although, Mujuru, Khupe and Misihairabwi have in the past denied that they
would want to challenge male dominance in politics, they have not disputed
choruses to the effect that time has come for a woman to take over power.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme also said the likely scenario would be
the creation of two coalitions.

“That scenario is likely. The Tsvangirai one will be a reunited MDC while
the Mujuru one will be a Zanu PF faction that broke away. The real
coalition will be when the reunited MDC coalesce with the Mujuru Zanu PF
breakaway faction but that is a long shot,” he said.

But MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu was hopeful yesterday that all parties
would eventually unite under Tsvangirai’s leadership.

“The MDC Alliance is a formidable force. Actually, there will be more
political parties joining this alliance. Political negotiations are
ongoing and please, never, ever rule out the possibility of having only
one formidable opposition alliance to face Zanu PF in next year’s
elections. As they say, a day in politics is very long. Just watch the
space,” said Gutu.