Coalitions fail to unseat #mugabe

via Coalitions fail to unseat Mugabe – DailyNews Live by Maxwell Sibanda  12 MAY 2014

Coalitions formed to unseat President Robert Mugabe since independence have failed as political leaders fight for positions.

Attempts by the MDC, Zapu, Zanu Ndonga and Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn to form a coalition against Zanu PF have in the past failed amid accusations and counter accusations.

In recent weeks, Tendai Biti who is now leading the MDC renewal team has been seeking support from the civic society and other political parties for a proposed grand opposition movement.

The former finance minister and his allies are said to have met the smaller MDC leader Welshman Ncube, Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa to discuss the coalition initiative.

But the question is; can grand coalitions be the answer to unseating Mugabe? Will they ever work for Zimbabweans, and indeed for Biti?

There are others who believe a united front against Mugabe is the only answer to regime change. They believe the disputed electoral outcomes of the 2008 elections could have been mitigated by a coalition of the two MDC parties.

Macdonald Lewanika, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director said political coalitions have achieved different results in the past.

“The Zanu-Zapu coalition by all accounts has held firm and been successful and the others have really not been coalitions. Like the Mutambara-Ncube, it was a coming together of individuals in one political formation, not necessarily two or more political parties coming together.

“Having said that, coalition politics will rule the roost in Zimbabwe’s politics especially for the opposition, because the numbers are clear that without coming together of opposition forces, Zanu PF will be difficult to dislodge, so the opportunities are there,” said Lewanika.

He said the only way that a Biti coalition can deliver is if it brings with it the bulk of MDC support. “Without it, whether Welshman, Dabengwa, Makoni or Madhuku joins, the current statistics show that the numbers these parties command are not significant enough to move the state.

“But it will make way for good political optics, at the end of the day — a Biti coalition can only deliver if it creates room for a stable and all-embracing political settlement among the opposition beyond elite party leaders to take a significant share of the popular base that Tsvangirai seems to have a grip on at the moment.

“The other element will be the extent to which they can attract respected Zimbabweans from within and without the country, who though they may not be popular can make people pause and reconsider their support of another formation or parties outside ‘the coalition’ — without that, it is likely to be doomed, but with these ingredients chances for success are enhanced.”

Media practitioner Rashweat Mukundu believes grand political coalitions can easily be coalitions of leaders without anyone behind them.

“Politicians must confer and seek people’s support and not each other’s support. So the Biti MDC grouping and many others must rather focus on winning citizen support and not formulate grand coalitions that easily crash at election time,” said Mukundu.

Political activist Tabani Moyo said what is happening at the moment is an acid test for opposition politics in Zimbabwe.

“The major challenge is the proposals for coalitions are not coming up as a genuine quest for consolidated coalitions, but rather formations of convenience.

“The opposition in Zimbabwe is at its weakest ebb since the early years of the new millennium. The spilt of the two factions in the MDC seems to be creating a ‘rush to the bottom’ syndrome to showcasing strength in numbers — whether at grassroots or political figures through convenience coalitions.

However, Moyo added, this is a diversionary approach to politics as the Tsvangirai formation did in luring other formations realising strife from within and the same has since happened with the Biti formation.

“But this is not the pressing question, the major question which requires answers is: Are the people of Zimbabwe ever going to take opposition political formations seriously thereafter? “In the end, these political figures will fight each other to the bitter end, as is with the case of the proverbial two dogs fighting for a bone, the third will grab it.

“Above all, when they are done with fighting they will realise that no one has been or is interested in the child play. The people of Zimbabwe will simply have moved on,” said Moyo.

Dewa Mavhinga, chairperson for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said, whether grand political coalitions work or not depends on a number of factors and it would be wrong to say because a coalition worked in one country then it will work for Zimbabwe as circumstances maybe very different.

“Grand political coalitions to take state power must take into account Zimbabwe’s unique and peculiar circumstances that include a deeply entrenched liberation war movement and highly politicised and partisan security forces that operate in close proximity to Zanu PF.

“The key to political change in Zimbabwe lies in the depoliticisation of security forces, the demilitarisation of civilian affairs and the capacity and ability of political parties to mobilise ordinary Zimbabweans for mass action,” said Mavhinga.



  • comment-avatar
    moomoo 8 years ago

    All Zimbabweans should unite and get. rid of these pensioners in charge. the young people know. and can see through Mugabes lies and smoke screen. give the young a chance

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      Petal 8 years ago

      HEAR HEAR HEAR MOOMOO – there is the probability that they have EXCLUDED the MIXED RACE, CAUCASIANS and other MINORITY GROUPS it will not come as a surprise

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    Chaka 8 years ago

    This coalition will not work. Let each party campaign, participate, fail n disappear. Join forces after elections. Fight the monster separately guys. U know very well its not about losing but rigging. Fight the rig.

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    JOHNSON 8 years ago

    Biti cannot want a GRAND coalition as he tries to carve a niche for himself through GRAND division. What hypocrisy. Biti obviously has a personal aggrandizement agenda.

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    JOHNSON 8 years ago

    Biti has not yet made an audit of the support he has and he is already talking of coalitions. Negotiations for coalitions succeed when you make clear offers of what you wanna give to the coalition partners. The key question is ‘What does Biti Have besides ambition like Caius Cassius……and ambition is made of sterner staff. People like Biti are unreliable ….and KNOW it ALL. What they dont know is NOT WORTH knowing. Intellectuals….Intelligensia, gurus, Attorneys inter alia. Celebrities like Madonna, Oprah kikikikikiik CELEB BITI….Sounds good!!

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    No coalition is necessary in Zim. We have one opposition party to unseat Zanu, which is MDCT. How can you have coalitions with people who do not have support? Look at the figures from last election and tell me if Zapu s votes could have tipped the results? Mbiti, Dabengwa, Makoni and Ncubes should just join MDCT if they want to be relevant in politics. They must not come big headed thinking they are bringing supporters when they know very well that no one is following them.

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    furedi 8 years ago

    I fail to understand the logic of these guys in opposition, of all wanting the top job.ZPF has mugabe as top dog for all these years and yet most zanus are multi-millionaires because they did not worry about the top job as long as they made money while Bob was there.

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    Mapingu 8 years ago

    It is any indisputable fact that: ZERO plus ZERO = ZERO x ZERO = 0. That being the case, it is very easy to agree with one guy who commented above to the effect that most of the much referred to names – such as Simba, Welshman, & Dabengwa – will really be bringing ZERO’s to the so-called ‘grand coalition’ judging from their performance in just ended elections. One may only be attempted to give benefit of doubt to new comers who so far have not taken part in an election, if there are any, not the tried and failed ones. Not failing in terms of removing Zanu pf but in terms of demonstrating sizeable support to talk about. Makoni only got something significant in 2008 when some people were gullible enough to take him serious – now he has nothing. Same goes for all others I mentioned above.

    So, Biti & co would rather expense efforts trying to fix things with Tsvangirai, and may also courting the new kids on the block, like Madhuku and others whom we cant rule out without evidence. They might actually have something to offer. Otherwise, these tried & failed so-called party leaders they are not leading anyone at all. Yes, I have no problem with anyone accommodating them as individuals; not as party leaders. They are not leading any parties to talk about.

    Bottom line is: Biti & co need to be honest whether they want a coalition of individuals who purport to be party leaders; or a coalition of really political parties that count in the country. There is a world of difference between the two.

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    Well said Mapingu.These guys dont hve Support,The best they can do is form DDC Democracy discussion Club not aParty,no one will follow them if they form a Coalition.