Biti to lead grand coalition talks

via Biti to lead grand coalition talks – The Zimbabwe Independent January 22, 2016

IN what could be the biggest push to end President Robert Mugabe’s 36-year rule, Zimbabwe’s opposition parties, excluding Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, have tasked firebrand People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti to be chief negotiator in talks seeking to forge a grand coalition with former vice-president Joice Mujuru’s People First movement, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Elias Mambo/Wongai Zhangazha

This comes as opposition parties continue to dig for a solution to field a sole candidate to oust a fractured Zanu PF in the 2018 general elections. Biti was the secretary general of MDC-T before his fallout with Tsvangirai two years ago.

The MDC-T is divided on joining hands with Mujuru. Tsvangirai is supporting the move while National Executive Council member Nelson Chamisa rejects the plan.

Sources said despite false starts on several occasions to form a grand coalition to wrest power from Zanu PF, a united opposition is likely to rattle Zanu PF which is currently torn apart due to growing infighting in the race to succeed ageing Mugabe.

The parties, the sources said, agreed to rally behind Mujuru on condition that she scales up efforts to formally set up the largely obscure outfit born out of factional fights within Zanu PF.

“Last week, opposition parties leaders who include Biti, Lovemore Madhuku (National Constitutional Assembly), Emilia Mukaratirwa (Zapu vice-president) and Elton Mangoma (Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe) met to come up with a strategy on how to face Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.

“All the opposition parties agreed that their common enemy is Mugabe and Zanu PF so they should unite and work together ahead of the 2018 polls,” the source said.

“It was during this meeting that it was agreed to appoint Biti as the negotiator with the Mujuru-linked People First movement.”

Sources said the opposition parties are not yet convinced Mujuru can stand the heat and cross the line to become a leader of the opposition politics. The sources added that Mujuru and her allies are keen on Biti joining the party as a senior advisor.

“The day People First will launch its party is the day we will embrace them as part of the opposition in Zimbabwe. At the moment, they are still on the fence and anything can happen. They can decide to rejoin Zanu PF,” another opposition leader said.

Mujuru who was described by a regional research unit, NKC African Economics-owned by one of the world’s leading independent global advisory firms Oxford Economics, as “perhaps Zimbabwe’s last realistic hope of salvation”, has been on a massive recruitment drive across the country’s 10 provinces targeting disgruntled Zanu PF and MDC-T activists in the process.The former vice president together with a number of senior Zanu PF members were expelled from the party in 2014 on allegations of plotting to oust Mugabe and fanning factionalism.

Since late last year, Mujuru and her close allies such as ousted former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, ex-secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (former politburo member and Mwenezi East MP), David Butau (former Mbire MP) and sacked-war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda have upped the tempo, putting up structures at national, provincial and other lower levels in their quest to grow PF’s support base.

A host of loyalists from MDC-T, Zanu PF and other opposition parties, according to reports, were ready to jump ship and join Mujuru’s movement.

This week former Zanu PF Chivi South MP Irvene Dzingirai defected to People First and has been attending meetings in Masvingo.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar

    Me senses some mischief making here.
    Grand coalition excluding MDC-T, biggest opposition brand in Zim right now?
    Led by firebrand whats-name?
    Add to that the dyed-in-the-wool ZANU empress, Mai Mujuru and any moron can see what’s going on here.

  • comment-avatar
    Cde Moto 5 years ago

    mxm

  • comment-avatar
    amina 5 years ago

    Biti is educated and civilized, however is driven by greedy, fear and pride. He can never be a true negotiator. He fought with Tsvangirai to form a useless party that is not even recognized except by ZANU PF his masters. This level of poor leadership costed the opposition elections in 2008, when Kombai fielded candidates of his on MDC along the MDC of Ncube and Mtambara. In as much as Biti might be intelligent, he is a coward par excellence.

  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 5 years ago

    Every opposition party leader knows that he or she is the only one capable of standing for president. So the solution is that they all agree – for the sake of Zimbabwe – to draw cards and highest card stands. They then forge an agreement that acknowledges that they all hate and mistrust each other for hundreds of good reasons, and they also agree that the new president will call for fresh elections one year after assuming office, at which time they can all be at each other’s throats again. Anyone who can’t go for that is simply selfish and, as they are currently behaving, ZANU PF is heading for a win by default. .