Fungi Kwaramba 16 February 2017
HARARE – The formation of a mooted opposition grand coalition is growing
into a big possibility with two key players – the MDC and the Zimbabwe
People First (ZPF) – both yesterday indicating that they were under
pressure to formalise the electoral alliance.
Both the MDC and the ZPF have been on nationwide tours trying to drum up
support for the proposed coalition which analysts see as the best prospect
of ending President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s rule in the
much-anticipated 2018 elections.
The growing calls for the alliance come as former Vice President Joice
Mujuru is battling to heal the party from its recent damaging split which
is threatening to derail its participation in the suggested coalition.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told the Daily News that there was
overwhelming support for the coalition.
“Traditional healers, pastors, civil servants and other community leaders
engaged in a highly interactive meeting with . . . Tsvangirai that lasted
three hours. The community leaders made invaluable strategic inputs on key
issues to do with the alliance of opposition parties, elections as well as
a new-governance culture after 2018, which they said must be inclusive.
“On alliances, the traditional leaders in Chipinge gave their thumbs-up
but urged president to use his due diligence to vet all political parties
before making a decision to work with any one of them,” said Tsvangirai’s
spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka.
Mujuru’s spokesperson Gift Nyandoro said there is massive support for the
formation of the grand coalition.
“There is overwhelming support for the expulsion of the group and also for
the president to form a grand coalition with other like-minded opposition
parties, and in the people’s views, there is a view that the president was
taking long to act,” Nyandoro told the Daily News.
“You know when we expelled the Mutasa group, we demonstrated that we want
to break with the past, some of them have track record of having done acts
which are inhumane…
“The expulsion of that group will not affect the formation of the
coalition. Instead, it will embolden confidence among the opposition
parties. Allegations that Mujuru is in the company of people dripping with
blood and chequered political history has now been proven otherwise.
“Without doubt, the malcontents who have been putting spanners that the
convention will not be held have been thrown out. The so-called elders
have been consistent that they don’t believe in any coalition, in their
view the Zimbabwe People First was their self project,” added Nyandoro.
Last Wednesday, the ZPF was plunged into turmoil when Mujuru expelled the
party’s founding fathers – Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa, together with
five other party heavyweights – on account of them being alleged Zanu PF
agents and working to topple her from her interim position.
But no sooner had she completed her briefing than the situation turned
into a complete farce, when Mutasa and Gumbo announced at their own press
conference that they had similarly expelled Mujuru from ZPF.