Mugove Tafirenyika 3 May 2017
HARARE – Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) co-leader Rugare Gumbo has said his
party will not join MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s mooted grand coalition,
arguing it is “opportunistic and exclusive”.
He rubbished the alliance -which has seen Tsvangirai sign Memorandums of
Understanding (MoU) with former ally Welshman Ncube and ex-Vice President
Joice Mujuru – saying it was “rushed and lacked full consultation”.
Gumbo, whose fledgling outfit recently split for the third time, hardly
two years after its formation, told the Daily News yesterday that ZPF
would seek to forge “an all-inclusive” alliance outside the one being
championed by Tsvangirai.
“We will not be part of such a coalition which came about through a rushed
process without the consultation of stakeholders, including war veterans,
the business community, civic society and social groups . . . because it
will not yield the change that Zimbabweans are yearning for,” the former
Zanu PF spokesperson said.
This comes as Tsvangirai’s MoUs with Ncube and Mujuru -who recently
ditched ZPF to form her own National People’s Party (NPP) following an
ugly row with Gumbo and others – have been widely seen as a harbinger to a
grand coalition that will see the country’s opposition parties field a
single presidential candidate to take on President Robert Mugabe in the
While Gumbo has distanced his party from the coalition, his co-leader in
ZPF, Didymus Mutasa, is on record endorsing Tsvangirai as the “natural”
leader of the coalition.
Describing the long-time Mugabe rival as a “real fighter for democracy”,
in a previous interview with the Daily News, Mutasa said Tsvangirai has
fought hard in the battle for political change.
“For me, Tsvangirai should be the natural leader of the coalition because
of who he is. The man has suffered a long time for political change in the
country and what the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) stands for
what Tsvangirai and the MDC built and the rest of us are latecomers in
this game,” the former State Security minister in Mugabe’s government
“We want a leader who will pursue a Pan Africanist agenda, someone who
will do what we thought Mugabe would do but failed, and as ZPF, we want to
have discussions about who should lead the coalition because when we
wanted to do it while we were still with Mujuru, she prevaricated,” Mutasa
Interestingly, Mujuru formed the NPP after falling out with her former
allies on allegations that they were Zanu PF agents and accused them of
stalling coalition talks with Tsvangirai.
In response, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said “Gumbo . . . has got it
“He is a former Zanu PF member and he knows very well that we are dealing
with a rabidly tyrannical and fascist regime that is now beyond
reformation,” he said, adding that “coalitions give us numbers and a
certain degree of unity and focus as we confront the Zanu PF regime in
next year’s elections”.
“As a strong coalition, our push for electoral reforms is also more
forceful and effective. There is absolutely nothing opportunistic nor
exclusionary about a formidable coalition. In fact, no genuine and
patriotic opposition political party has been deliberately excluded from
the coalition talks,” Gutu told the Daily News.