Tsvangirai, Khupe draw daggers over coalition

FRESH fissures have rocked the opposition MDC-T leadership, with party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy, Thokozani Khupe, giving discordant views on the proposed grand coalition to contest against President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF in next year’s elections.

Source: Tsvangirai, Khupe draw daggers over coalition – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 3, 2017


With Tsvangirai having declared that a coalition deal, particularly with Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru, is as good as done, Khupe yesterday literally threw the cat among the pigeons, arguing the MDC-T may not need partners in the Matabeleland provinces.

Khupe, one of Tsvangirai’s three deputies together with Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri, in a move that seems to ring-fence her area of influence, suggested that the proposed alliance should only be confined to Mashonaland, as MDC-T structures in the Matabeleland region have consistently won against Zanu PF since the turn of the millennium.

“I am not against any coalition, but for me, the question that we must ask ourselves is why we want a coalition as a political party,” she said yesterday.

“As a political party, when you want a coalition, you would have realised a gap in your party and as the MDC, where is our gap?

“It is clear our gap is in Mashonaland East, West and Central, where we have consistently not done very well.

“So, when looking for a coalition partner, you must look for a partner, who is going to be able to cover that gap.”

Khupe argued that any coalition pact with other parties in Matabeleland would only result in a poor showing in the next elections.

“You can’t look for a partner, who will come and disturb, where you have won consistently since 2000. Where you have gotten 100%, what will that person do? What value are they going to add? On a coalition, you must want value addition to what you already have,” she said emphatically.

“You don’t want someone, who will come and disturb what we already have. What we don’t have right now is Mashonaland and that is where we need a strong coalition partner and that is the only way we are able to remove Zanu PF.”

Khupe’s remarks, while flying in Tsvangirai’s face, seem to buttress a stark warning issued by the MDC-T president’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, on possible internal plots to derail efforts to forge a coalition, as he claimed there were others who wanted to scupper the process “for subjective motivations driven by selfish and personal interests to do with positions”.

“I can only promise one thing to the people of Zimbabwe: Never mind the sceptics — and there are many of them around — Mugabe will contest against a united opposition in 2018,” Tamborinyoka wrote for NewsDay.

“Yes, the people are speaking and we are listening. Future generations will not forgive us if we let slip this chance to consign misgovernance to the dustbins of history.”

In an interview, Tamborinyoka maintained that Tsvangirai had the sole mandate to discuss coalition issues, but pointed out that party organs and members had a right to express their opinions.

“We are a democratic party, so our members are free to express their feelings,” he said.

“But, I must say that the MDC’s executive organs have given our leader, president Tsvangirai, an exclusive mandate on issues of the coalition.

“We are not going to be dragged into discussing issues of nuances and strategy in the media. We will not negotiate in the media.”

Tsvangirai is said to have courted the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, but negotiations have seemingly stalled, as the MDC-T’s Matabeleland structures are sceptical of a reunion with their former secretary-general.

In 2007, a unity deal between the two parties failed, as the MDC-T’s Matabeleland structures once again refused to join hands with the MDC, a decision that later proved fatal, as Tsvangirai missed the Presidency by a whisker in 2008.

Tsvangirai has just concluded a 10-day consultative tour of the Matabeleland region, where he claims to have received a mandate to forge an alliance with other opposition parties and select a single candidate to challenge Mugabe in the 2018 presidential race.


  • comment-avatar

    Khupe has a very strong point here. If anything her point resonates with what the MDC president (Tsvangirai) has implied time & again. Tsvangi has rightly been saying any coalition would have to enshrine the concept of equity (yes, equity, not equality) as some opportunistic parties would want it to be. Remember, he has always been saying that any fruitful coalition has to based on commitment to rally behind the most popular candidate regardless of their individual party affiliations. So, if some MDC MPs have been consistently winning against zanu pf & other parties in any constituency/province (eg Matebeleland, as Khupe said) can anyone in their right mind ever claim that any other untried candidate from other coalition partner is more popular than a tried & tested cadre? If indeed Tsvangi has not changed from the equity principle then the two (himself & Khupe) remain on the same page. Anyway in my, a more democratic way to implement the equity principle if the coalition proponents are really serious is to allow interested candidates from the various parties go for some kind primary elections & battle it out. The problem with this mooted coalition is we have people who really have no value to add to the coalition because they don’t have any followership. Those people are pushing to get positions at the negation table as opposed to democratic processes. But chokwadi, zvekuda kugovana maConstituencies muma boardrooms zvinokukanyayi varume. MDC_T need to be really very carefully, clearly most of the other parties have really nothing to loose but everything to gain from this coalition if it eventually sees the light of the day. But it could spell doom for MDC_T if the go into it from a miscalculated angle, as they did with the GNU & the 2013 elections respectively. Watch out MDC_T, musada kufadza zvimwe zvibwasungata zve zanu pf, masquerading as position parties, zvekare.

    • comment-avatar
      Midron Construction 5 years ago

      But Khupe’s sentiments are counterproductive and selfish. It could be that she is protecting her own interests because she sees Mai Mujuru as a threat to her deputising in the event that Mugabe is dislodged. But narrow mindedness will speak like wisdom and say that in Matebeleland we have won consistently, so why are you not ruling then! Know it all and sundry that ZANU has not managed to rig only in Matebelaland, finish and klaar. In Mashonaland MDC has literally lost to a play who is officiating in the same game he is playing! And when people begin to reason the Khupe way, then we have a danger of having Zanus in the MDC who are playing to the ZANU gallery! When ZANU hears such statements, they resoundly say amen because the whole idea of rigging in Mashonaland and leaving Matebeleland is so that the people in Matebeleland sees their victory is more superior thereby cause discord in the opposition. But in short the Presidential plebiscite is won on numbers and not regionally. So if you compare the number of votes cast in Mashonald for President Tsvangirayi as compared to Matebelaland then the number is high. But I’m not insisting decisions here. Let’s all know that this is the only opportunity we have to remove ZANU. Let’s unite for now even if I will be an usher in MDC, but for the purpose of change so be it! Let’s not be afraid of loosing posts! History will judge us harshly if we allow bickering for posts on selfish ulterior motives to derail this programme. MaKhupe we really appreciate your point as democrates but the people should speak what the want and let the issue go to a vote, if the majority say yes, respect the will of people. Remember the Welshman Ncube syndrome. Please don’t be a statistic! Hold on there, we are almost there!

    • comment-avatar
      wankie 5 years ago

      what Khuphe is saying is true for parliamentary elections no doubt., but when it comes to presidential elections we really need a coalition because we need every vote to win, wether a party will come up with ten voters on the table. that is when the issue of equity comes in now, getting rewarded according to what you brought on the table.