THE Dumiso Dabengwa-led ZAPU has expressed interest in forming alliances with the newly formed Zimbabwe People First, led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
The formalisation of the new opposition party has drawn mixed reactions from Zimbabweans, with other opposition groups playing down its chances of taking down the long-time ruling party, Zanu PF, in the next general elections.
And as more political parties emerge as the country draws closer to the 2018 elections, talk around a grand coalition continues to gain traction with each passing day.
The coalition, its promoters hope, will provide stiff challenge Zanu PF, whose long time leader, President Robert Mugabe is reaching the zenith of his political career.
ZAPU believes a broad coalition is the only plausible solution to the current political environment, with the ruling party blamed for running down the country.
“We are fully convicted that a broad coalition of all like-minded democratic forces is the only plausible way forward for the country at the moment and the talks between us, ZPF and all other political parties are all an effort to establish such a coalition.
“Therefore the engagement on coalition will continue and leadership will advise as and when progress is recorded,” the party`s spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa, said.
Maphosa said no formal talks have been held after the Zimbabwe People First launch.
He noted that his party and the Mujuru led party – made up of mostly former Zanu PF stalwarts who were hounded out of the party – were like twins separated at birth who have reunited.
“The experiences we both underwent under both the colonial regime times and under Mugabe’s Zanu PF, coupled with commonality of our wishes for our liberated country and nation binds us together as we follow democratic processes to achieve our goal of a free, fair and democratic state nation.
“Whilst it is a common goal to see a Zimbabwe that is free of the Mugabe and ZANU regime, it is also our common goal to follow constitutional and democratic means to get to a new Zimbabwe,” said Maphosa.
He also affirmed his party position that they are willing to work with any other opposition party besides ZPF.
The idea of the grand coalition failed to materialise prior to the 2013 elections as the main opposition failed to agree on fundamental issues, chiefly the leadership structure of the coalition.
“We as a party believes all political parties should come to the table and participate in the coalition creation as equal partners, while the people decides on who leads the coalition if need be.
“We do not subscribe to the big brother mentality that has often been shown by some leaders where they would want to come into this initiative as leaders of the coalition.
“So if Tsvangirai is prepared to come forward as an equal partner, being prepared to either be led or lead if people so decides, he’s most welcome to the table,” he said.