Tsvangirai deals coalition talks body blow

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has scoffed at the so-called coalition talks among opposition parties that ended in South Africa yesterday, insisting that Zimbabwean political parties do not need an external hand to bring them to the negotiating table.

Source: Tsvangirai deals coalition talks body blow – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 2, 2016


This comes amid reports that several opposition leaders were last week invited to South Africa by an international think-tank, In Transformative Initiative (ITI), to facilitate talks aimed at choosing one opposition candidate to challenge President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 presidential elections.

But Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru boycotted the meeting held in Cape Town.

Addressing journalists in the capital yesterday, where he was welcoming back party deserters, such as Paul Madzore and Pearson Mungofa, Tsvangirai said he chose not to go because the agenda was unclear to him.

“There was no reason for me to attend. How do you introduce a subject that you have not planned with me?

“But that doesn’t mean I am underplaying the role of coalition talks. I don’t even know who is co-ordinating it and what mandate they have to co-ordinate us in that manner,” he said.

“Have we failed as Zimbabweans to sit down and talk among ourselves? Do we need outsiders to organise ourselves? I didn’t see it necessary to go to that meeting. Is it a crime? (But) that doesn’t underplay the issue of coalition.”

In what appeared a subtle stab at people who quit his party, Tsvangirai said: “You don’t leave a party and go on the side and say come let’s join, yet you left the party and then say now let’s have coalition talks. Why did you leave in the first place?”

He said there was a strong national sentiment for the opposition to unite, but there was still need to build trust among opposition leaders.

According to sources in South Africa, Mavambo/Kusile leader, Simba Makoni was tasked with issuing a statement on what transpired during the talks.

“We appointed Simba Makoni to give a statement we prepared upon return,” one of the opposition leaders, who requested anonymity, said.

“We agreed to form a broad coalition and we are preparing an MoU (memorandum of understanding), which all leaders must sign within 30 days after consultation with their parties. The MDC-T and ZimPF will be invited to the coalition.”

Tsvangirai told the news conference yesterday that they were preparing for the 2018 elections although they would continue pushing for electoral reforms.

Turning to Wednesday’s demonstration, Tsvangirai lamented police heavy-handedness in crushing the protest against the introduction of bond notes.

Meanwhile, PDP leader Tendai Biti has thrown his hat into the ring for the leadership of an envisaged coalition ahead of the 2018 elections, joining Tsvangirai and Mujuru, who have also been tipped for the same post.

PDP secretary-general, Gorden Moyo told NewsDay that Biti would be presented by his party as a possible choice.

“All serious political parties have presidential candidates. MDC-T, ZimPF have and we also have,” he said. “We are not indicating left and turning right. When the parties sit to decide on a possible coalition candidate, PDP will present Biti for consideration. I guess others will present their own too.”

Mujuru and Tsvangirai lead the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), a loose coalition of opposition parties demanding changes to the country’s electoral laws, while Biti’s party plans to use the Coalition of Democrats (Code) card as its entry ticket.


  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 5 years ago

    The answers: Yes they have failed to sit down and, yes, they need outsiders to organise them – if that is at all possible.

    With this clown as a potential leader there are bleak days ahead.

  • comment-avatar
    Morty Smith 5 years ago

    Tsvangirai defective as he is is the the only game in town. All the rest of the opposition do not amount to anything at all. If you do not vote for Tsvangirai or his party you might as well vote for Mugabe or ZANU. When ZANU is gone then Tsvangirai can be attacked

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    Toindepi Tsigo 5 years ago

    Morgan Tsvangirai is very right when he looks at individuals who deserted their mother parties only to come back through coalition talks.i don’t think its noble for small political parties to talk of coalition politics when they have nothing to put on the table.for PDP to second Biti to lead the coalition shows how greedy a dangerous they are to the coalition.having deserted their mother part barely two years ago they come back trying to join hands with people they even labeled make them dangerous to the extend that they cant be trusted coz they might be used by Zanu of to weaken the coalition or the influence of opposition politics in Zim

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    Mazano Rewayi 5 years ago

    The coalition can only be between Morgan and Joice, the former to keep the democratic fight alive and the later to weaken Zanu PF. The rest are just bridesmaids at best. It would even be better if someone currently not associated with any political party was presented as the presidential candidate by the coalition. Image the impact if MDC-T and ZPF were to present someone like Strive Masiyiwa as their presidential candidate in 2018.

    • comment-avatar
      Joe Cool 5 years ago

      Good proposal, but they are all too selfish to let it happen. Politics in Zimbabwe has everything to do with power, and nothing with administration.

    • comment-avatar
      Yayano 5 years ago

      Agree @Mazani. The only coalition worth talking about is the coalition between MDC-T and ZPF because these are the only two opposition parties with substantial support which combined together is well over a million voters.
      The other parties seeking coalition are just the leaders but have no following. They basically bring no votes at all.
      Take Zapu for example. In the whole country I think they cannot muster more than 20,000 supporters and this was very clear last year when they contested the Bulawayo by-elections.
      A similar tale follows Biti and his party. If you exclude his party and supporters it wont make much difference to a coalition. Include him and he will cause confusion. You hear them already saying that they will forward Biti to lead the coalition. Firstly he should garner enough support for his party.
      ZPF has had successful rallies around the country and only them and MDC-T can call a successful rally and the rest will not dare do it because it will expose the briefcase nature of their parties.

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    Ngoto Zimbwa 5 years ago

    All the other parties are ZANU stooges and Morgan is right to go it alone. He has the masses behind him.
    Man has problems as has been mentioned but he has a big heart and he will lead the people to triumph over the ZANU monster.
    The GNU taught him and the MDC a lesson and they both would be foolish to ignore it.
    With an open voter’s roll and full electoral reforms, Morgan is gonna walk it, no fear.

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    We have not one leader mugabe, mujuru, tsvangirai. The do not have the common sense or brain to take Zimbabweans out of this mess, each one had a hand in creating. When they in the power seat they line their own pockets, enjoy numerous women always some thing just not right. It is just a case of the lessor evil. We need a David, God help us.

    • comment-avatar
      Yayano 5 years ago

      @Ann, I don’t think you will ever find a perfect leader and even David (in the Bible) you refer to was not perfect.
      The problem we have had with Mugabe is the guy has too much power and yet he is a very inept leader, no leadership skills and no vision. It is that cluelessness that has put Zimbabwe where it is now.
      He never even led the war despite claims to the contrary and all he did was being part of the negotiations that brought about ‘independence’.
      As long as there is accountability around Mujuru, Tsvangirai or anybody else there is no way they can be worse than the ineffective and ruthless Mugabe. It will be very hard for anybody to be worse than Mugabe.

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    Why do they not just join MDC-T and then its game over? They all came about to try and derail the people and worker agenda in MDC -T now want to derail it once again. Why gloat over Tsvangson ? Do what you decided to do and have done all these decades. TT.