No coalition leader yet, says Biti

Source: No coalition leader yet, says Biti | The Herald May 27, 2017

Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
Opposition parties which are part of coalition talks have not yet endorsed MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai as their presidential candidate for next year’s polls, People’s Democratic Party’s president Mr Tendai Biti has said. Addressing the Bulawayo Press Club on Thursday evening, Mr Biti said there were about 15 “serious” opposition parties in the country and their leaders have the capacity to lead the coalition.

Mr Biti’s claims are in contrast with reports that Mr Tsvangirai has been endorsed to lead opposition parties in the 2018 elections.

Mr Tsvangirai seems to be convinced that he will lead the coalition and earlier this month he boldly declared that he will not accept electoral defeat, but if Mr Biti’s remarks are any indication, the MDC-T leader seems to be putting the cart before the horse.

Mr Biti said he was happy with the way negotiations were progressing and the coalition leader’s post is still up for grabs.

“I’m very hopeful and I think when every leader goes into that room, they should accept that the next leader can be the leader,” he said. “Any candidate in the coalition is a saleable candidate.

“Morgan Tsvangirai is a saleable candidate, Joice Mujuru is a saleable candidate, Welshman Ncube (MDC) is a saleable candidate, Tendai Biti is a saleable candidate and can lead the coalition.

“We are going to choose, we are going to have discussions around leadership and I don’t think that the leadership is going to bog us down.” Mr Biti admitted that opposition parties were very weak to defeat Zanu-PF as individual parties.

“What is critical is that are we able to work together, do we have the same common objectives?” he said.

“People are finding each other. There is sincerity in the discussions that have been taking place.

“Everyone understands that none of us can defeat Zanu-PF on our own, we have to create a team.” Mr Biti said instead of riding on personalities, it was critical for the opposition to sell ideas that addressed the problems affecting the country.