Tendai Kamhungira 30 January 2017
HARARE – Former Finance minister in the government of national unity
Tendai Biti, who now leads the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has
insisted that a coalition of opposition political parties ahead of next
year’s elections is the only way to remove Zanu PF from power.
Biti said this last Thursday, while speaking as one of the panelists at
Sapes Trust in Harare at a dialogue series titled: Zimbabwean Transition:
Is 2017 A Decisive Year?
“Zimbabweans need to unite and remove through the ballot box the military
authoritarianism State that has overseen the country’s politics since
independence,” Biti said.
“Zimbabwe has been governed by a military machine since 1958, at
independence, Zanu PF just replaced the (Ian) Smith military outfit with
another which has never been demobilised,” Biti said.
Opposition political parties in Zimbabwe including the Morgan
Tsvangirai-led MDC and ex-vice president Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People
First have been calling for a coalition to outwit president Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, which has been in power since the country gained
its independence from the British colonisers in 1980.
Both Tsvangirai and Mujuru have since confirmed that they will work
together in a coalition, which Biti claims is a necessity, considering
that this has also worked in other African countries such at The Gambia
“Thought leadership would be the only hope for Zimbabwe to claw back and
recapture the election. Political parties, social movements, civic society
and labour, need to come together and continue the resistance of 2016,
resistance must among other issues be for media and electoral reforms
including the demand to exercise the right to vote by those in the
Diaspora,” Biti said.
While opposition political parties say electoral reforms will level the
electoral playing field, Zanu PF on the other hand says it cannot reform
itself out of power.
“We need to do smart politics, uniting the Gambian style of December 2016
or the Kenyan way of 2002, just to confront and liquidate the dictator and
maybe resort to our different agendas after the military regime has been
replaced by a people-centred and transformation oriented leadership,” he
Biti said those involved in negotiating or participating in broad
coalition of political parties must bear in mind that power sharing is not
the agenda of the alliance.
He said the agenda is a vision for real transformation, which Zanu PF is
afraid of, adding that a post-election National Transitional Authority
would be a possible method of creating an inclusive mechanism that can
deal with possibilities of chaos and implosion.