‘Opposition to hold primaries to choose grand coalition leader’

Source: ‘Opposition to hold primaries to choose grand coalition leader’ – DailyNews Live May 21, 2017

Fungi Kwaramba      21 May 2017

HARARE – Former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who now leads the fledgling
National People Party (NPP), yesterday said the opposition parties will
hold primary elections to choose who will lead the planned grand coalition
set to contest President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in next year’s polls.

Mujuru and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai last month signed a
Memorandum of Understanding  (MoU) as they put in motion plans to finalise
the electoral alliance.

Speaking at yesterday’s rally in Chitungwiza, Mujuru said the coalition
would be a reality – quashing recent discord within her party as a
hindrance to the mooted alliance.

“Let us unite and make Zimbabwe a better place where people realise their
dreams. We agreed to work together but we will not abandon our parties.

“We will get to a time when we will ask people to choose the leader, for
instance we will hold primary elections in an area and field a candidate
from NPP and MDC, whoever wins will then lead.

“Do not be afraid, the coalition is coming, our people are working on
developing from the MoU and we will come with the way forward. I will not
make myself the leader, you know who you want, the people will elect their
preferred leader and we will follow, we are not worried about that,” said

In a sign of solidarity, Mujuru’s rally was attended by MDC secretary for
mobilisation Job Sikhala.

“This is a sign that things have now changed,” Mujuru said as she referred
to Sikhala presence at the venue of the rally where streams of raw sewage
were flowing.

“We saw poverty with our own eyes when we walked around this place. It is
very easy for us to identify with the people because this is where we come
from. We will drill two boreholes in this area so that people will have
safe drinking water.

“NPP and the MDC are one and the same thing, what Sikhala did is the right
thing going into the future, we are going to iron out our differences and
we will cross the River Jordan. This is not about me or Tsvangirai, this
is about you,” said Mujuru.

In developments which were hailed as very significant, Tsvangirai signed
memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Mujuru and his former
secretary-general Welshman Ncube last month, as the make-or-break 2018
elections loom.

Before then, optimism had been high ever since Tsvangirai and Mujuru
publicly flaunted their readiness to join forces against the ruling party,
when they appeared together in Gweru in August last year.

Analysts have also repeatedly said Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom
de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose husband Solomon was the
first black post-independence army commander, could provide the
much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the
smooth transfer of power if they win elections again.