Tsvangirai warned

Source: Tsvangirai warned – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      30 January 2017

HARARE – As opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai accelerates his nationwide
consultations regarding the formation of an anti-Zanu PF grand coalition
ahead of next year’s eagerly-anticipated national elections, Zimbabweans
are warning him to be wary of the ruling party’s dirty tricks.

The former prime minister in the Government of National Unity, who is
currently on a whirlwind tour of Matabeleland, was this week told by
traditional leaders and ordinary villagers that there was a strong
likelihood that President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF would use some of the
smaller opposition parties to destabilise the mooted coalition alliance.

The concerns came as Zanu PF apparatchiks have lately been working
overtime to discredit former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who now leads
the Zimbabwe   People First (ZPF) party, in what observers have described
as a desperate bid to scupper Tsvangirai’s ongoing coalition talks with

MDC insiders told the Daily News On Sunday yesterday that Tsvangirai had
been advised during his meeting with party supporters and opinion leaders
in Hwange on Thursday to treat some of the smaller opposition parties with
caution, as they could be used to derail his 2018 momentum.

“The opinion leaders lauded the proposed alliance of political parties,
but urged caution indeed, saying some of the parties were direct creations
of Zanu PF.

“However, they also expressed optimism that the alliance would defeat Zanu
PF and set the tone for a new, prosperous Zimbabwe post-Mugabe in 2018,”
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said.

“The opinion leaders, like all the groups and people he has met during
this tour, restated the fact that the Zanu PF government had failed

“They all gave their input to President Tsvangirai on the new society that
they want after the 2018 polls. The issues they raised included the
continued marginalisation of their communities by the Zanu PF government,
the collapsed national infrastructure that needs urgent rehabilitation and
the abuse of traditional leaders by Zanu PF.

“On his part, he (Tsvangirai) said he was finding the people’s input
invaluable, particularly their views on the new Zim society that they want
after 2018. He pledged to build an inclusive society that would not leave
anyone behind,” Tamborinyoka told the Daily News On Sunday.

Contacted for a comment, ZPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said Zanu PF
was “desperate” to put a wedge between Mujuru and Tsvangirai, to scuttle
the formation of the envisaged coalition.

“Zanu PF is desperate to scuttle the coalition talks between Mujuru and
Tsvangirai and the media gimmicks that we are witnessing show us that some
briefcase party leaders are indeed fronting Zanu PF’s desperate bid to
destroy the ongoing talks.

“All this and the Zanu-PF regime’s false death stories on Tsvangirai a few
days ago show the desperation that has gripped this dying regime,” he

Insiders have previously told the Daily News On Sunday that the former
prime minister in the government of national unity is on the verge of
sealing a historic pact with his other former secretary general, Welshman
Ncube, and Mujuru – with whom he has been meeting behind the scenes over
the past few months.

Last year Tsvangirai also told diplomats that he was wary about the “real
prospects” of the panicking ruling Zanu PF using some of the country’s
smaller opposition parties to put spanners in the works of a viable grand

The former trade union leader has also recently set out clear conditions
for all his prospective coalition partners.

“Once again on this issue, Your Excellencies, you must understand that we
reserve our right to determine who we will work with.

“There are about 42 political parties in the country, some of them
deliberately created by Zanu PF to muddy the political waters. Some of
them are not even institutions in the true sense of the word. We will do
our own necessary diligence checks before we work with anyone,” the MDC
leader told the diplomats.

Tsvangirai, who commands a huge following among Zimbabweans, and is the
only politician in the history of the country to defeat Mugabe and Zanu PF
in an election – in 2008 – this week gave Mujuru a big lift when he
confirmed that he would work with her in 2018, despite ZPF’s defeat to
Zanu PF in last week’s Bikita West by election.

In the wake of that debilitating defeat, analysts had said Mujuru was now
in “a weak bargaining position” in her delicate and ongoing coalition
talks with Tsvangirai.

“The president (Tsvangirai) said one swallow does not make a summer and
Bikita West is the swallow. It was a farcical election that cannot be used
to measure someone’s popularity.

“Yes, there are some people who want to use it to undermine the coalition.
However, we will not allow that because we have already decided to do a
cow-horn formation on Zanu PF.

“There is a national sentiment out there that we should form a coalition
and that is what we are going to do. It is Zimbabwe against Mugabe. The
decision has already been made by the (MDC’s) national council that we are
going into a coalition with Mujuru,” Tamborinyoka said on Tuesday.

Since Mujuru joined hands with Tsvangirai and marched with him in the
streets of Gweru in August last year – in a rare public display of unity
among the opposition – there have been growing calls by fed up citizens
for the formation of a grand opposition alliance.

Analysts have consistently said that a united opposition, fighting with
one purpose, would bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule – especially at this
time when the country’s economy is dying and the increasingly frail
nonagenarian is battling to keep his warring Zanu PF united.