Tendai Kamhungira 23 May 2017
HARARE – A grand coalition of opposition parties expected to challenge
President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 elections has received a major boost
after the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and Coalition of
Democrats (Code) joined forces.
The two political groupings are now going under the banner Zimbabwe
National Electoral Reform Agenda (Zinera), according to the organisation’s
chairperson Farai Mbira.
He told the Daily News yesterday that Zinera comprises 22 opposition
political parties that are working towards forming the grand coalition.
“What has been agreed is that we must work together and work towards
forming a coalition and we have now split into committees,” he said.
Mbira said National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru will chair
the political committee, while MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai will head the
Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa will lead the crisis committee while People’s
Democratic Party (PDP) president Tendai Biti will head the legal
The committees, Mbira said, will engage the relevant sectors to deal with
different issues that will ensure a free and fair election ahead of next
“It’s a bigger development and the hope is that all other people trying to
find solutions to the country’s problems come together,” he said, adding
that in the near future, they will be coming up with proposals of the
Zimbabwe that people want and come up with a common ground.
He also said the organisation will engage other stakeholders, including
churches and students, to come up with viable proposals.
Although there has been general agreement that the leader of the coalition
will be chosen through a voting process, Tsvangirai has been tipped to be
the leader owing to his party’s size.
This also comes after former Finance minister Simba Makoni, who is now
leading his own political outfit Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD), also endorsed
Tsvangirai as the right person to lead the coalition.
The MKD leader’s sentiments resonate with those of a large cross-section
of Zimbabweans, including other leading politicians, analysts and civic
groups, who all say that Tsvangirai is the only opposition leader capable
of giving Mugabe and the warring Zanu PF a run for their money.
Recently, former Cabinet minister Didymus Mutasa praised the former labour
union leader, saying he had persevered against all odds in his push for a
more democratic Zimbabwe, including taking on Mugabe and a Zanu PF that
often behaved thuggishly when challenged.
Biti has also passionately appealed to Tsvangirai to move decisively on
the mooted grand alliance.