Grand coalition and politics of exclusion

via Grand coalition and politics of exclusion – The Standard by Douglas Togaraseyi Mwonzora June 1, 2014

Over the past few weeks the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube and an outfit led by Tendai Biti have been talking glowingly about their “Grand” coalition.

Some of their officials have even described it as a “grand coalition of democrats”. The following questions have to be answered: First, is this coalition indeed grand? Second, is it indeed a coalition of democrats? Third, is it capable of prosecuting the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabweans are reeling under the weight of an oppressive regime and a debilitating economic situation. They need to be delivered from poverty and misery and must once again lead normal lives. The regime that has condemned them to this poverty, misery and oppression has maintained its hegemony through a combination of brute force, fraud and subterfuge.

What is needed in Zimbabwe is change. For the efficacy of this change, Zimbabwe needs a strong change agent capable of delivering that change.

It is submitted that the so-called Grand Coalition will suffer a stillbirth.

Its Achilles’ heel is that it is an elitist project which seeks to exclude the masses. It is inextricably grounded in politically unhelpful intellectualism. The other problem is that it seeks to exclude the biggest political players on the land currently, which are Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC.

There can be no dispute that Tsvangirai and the MDC have an undisputed mass appeal among the workers, the middle class, the unemployed and the peasants in Zimbabwe.

Thus, excluding Tsvangirai and the MDC is excluding the real representatives of the down-trodden and oppressed masses of Zimbabwe. A coalition that excludes the down-trodden and oppressed masses in Zimbabwe can never be called grand.

From their boisterous statements, which are turning to be just hot air, the coalition will be made up of small political parties, churches and civil society.  Strangely, the majority of civil society has professed ignorance of this project as they have not been involved in it.

Further, most churches have also not been consulted over this project.

Maybe, the organisers presumed that once they announced the date and venue of the grand coalition meeting, the churches will come flocking to the venue. Such presumptuousness betrays the arrogance and vanity of the organisers of this ill-fated event.

What Zimbabweans appear worried about is that in the mind of the organisers of this event, they want to convert civil society and churches into a political party. First, no meaningful civil society organisation will want to throw away its impartiality and independence by dabbling into partisan politics.

No church will throw away its independence and be seen as an appendage of a political party whose future although not known, looks decidedly bleak. However, converting civil society into a political party is actually a process designed to exterminate the very civil society they purport to integrate.

This is amply demonstrated by what Madhuku did to the National Constitutional Assembly. At the stroke of foolishness, he reduced a once vibrant and successful civil society organisation into a Lilliputian political party with virtually no following. However, the democratic revolution that we are in thrives in an environment where there is a vibrant and independent civil society.

Therefore the conceptualisation of this coalition is not well grounded in sound political philosophy and history.

Bad drivers of good cars spell disaster always. None of the drivers of the so-called grand coalition leaders has any sound democratic credentials. Most of them have presided over grave injustices in their political parties.

Their common trait is their disdain and contempt of the masses. They are elitist and proud with most of them thinking that no wisdom can come from people who are not lawyers.

They are well-known for manipulating the constitutions of their parties to give themselves more power and to undermine elected leadership of the parties. Some of them had to import leaders of their splinter groups only to depose those leaders at the earliest opportunity.

Once they became leaders of the little political fiefdoms, they became some of the most trigger happy political party presidents on the land. One of them had to dismiss the majority of his elected Members of Parliament.

Recently some of these political gladiators sought to remove an elected president and elected leaders who did not agree with their project in an unsuccessful palace coup.

The long and short of it is that this is not a coalition of democrats but a coalition of budding, scheming and manipulative dictators who have no clout or ability to prosecute the democratic struggle.

The main motivation behind this coalition is to hoodwink the donor community into releasing funds into this elitist enterprise on the basis that this outfit will advance the cause of democracy in Zimbabwe.

It is clear that the so-called grand coalition is a clear example of deceptive, elitist politics of exclusion. The planners seek to disqualify people who will win elections to lead the coalition ahead of them.

In other words, they seek to be stars in the absence of the sun. Clearly therefore, there is no future in this “Grand Coalition” which is basically a Grand Deception.



  • comment-avatar
    zanupf fear me 8 years ago

    Keep dreaming drooling for u nikuv erection. In 2018 . Gadaffi Assad Stalin Mobutu Mubarak Saddam osamabinladen idiamin banda abacha polpot Nkrumah etc were not removed in erections. U fools

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    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    wenafela 8 years ago

    Tsvangison like bob doesn’t represent all of Zimbabwe and he has already shown he is ready to die in office. He should have left the post ages ago and his dictatorial tendencies are there for all to see.

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    Tswangirai is not Mdc and Mdc is not Tswangirai.A party is formed and a leader is chosen.This trend of investing too much powers in an individual does not work.If a leader fails to deliver he should step aside and give others a chance.Both Matibili and Tswangirai have been tried and tested.

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    Senzachena 8 years ago

    Ncube and Biti are arrogant sods. Tsvangirai has very limited intelligence, and has delusions of granduer whilst in fact he is yesterdays man. Where can we find an honest, dedicated man wh appeals to the masses and has the good of the people and country at heart. Is there anybody who fits this descrition or are we all corrupt power seekers!

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    munzwa 8 years ago

    So doug!! have you and your lot got a better plan, let us hear from others in this country, and beyond, not just the politicians!!!I think it is a great idea and should be encouraged, new blood, new voices….

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    laazuk 8 years ago

    The political death of lawyers lies in their ignorance of the natural laws. The basic principles of life. In these principles of life people are compelled to abide by these principles, and if they don’t, they die. One does not need a law degree, even to go to school to understand that. If people do not eat, they die. If they are exposed to harsh environments like poor water, sewage, they get sick. Democracy values life and it cannot ignore these basic principles of life. Democracy believes in the sanctity of life. Life is sacred and it must be protected at all cost. Therefore political democrats derive their philosophies from this. If the people can see this value in a leader they will follow them. People who have a human face, people who value the needs of people’s lives. Naturally such leaders are magnetic. People follow them. People like them, people admire them. These leaders empathise with the people. As they empathise with the people, they are given the mandate by the people to lead them. This is what is in Morgan Tsvangirai. When you fight Morgan Tsvangirai, you are fighting the people of Zimbabwe. You are fighting his followers. You are making them angry, because you are trying to kill their hope. Therefore it is very myopic for Biti or Mangoma to dream of ever being better and appeal more to people than Morgan. The Mangomas, Bitis, Welshs, are transactional politicians. There is a certain level interraction that make them more functional than what they are trying to do. Crafting the constitution, legal advice, policy formulation. Where their passion is where they excel. Is it legally correct? Where is the balance of power? Who functions what in the organisation? What are the limits of the President? What is the legal basis of his decision?

    Therefore Morgan is with the people and when he deserts the people , they will also desert him. He disregards their basic needs for life, their aspirations, the future of their children they will forget him. At the moment he is the people’s choice.

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    Guys,the issue musn’t be about Tswangirai personally.It is the trajectory under him substantively that has led us to nowhere.He has failed to dislodge the wily Mugabe since the MDC’s formation.Zanu pf has cunningly routed the main opposition successively under Tswangirai’s leadership,to despondency amongst the followers of the main opposition.The despairity about the realization of freedom in Zimbabwe has swelled to pathetic levels,hence this apathy we see Zimbabweans displaying on serious national issues.Therefore,let us be principled and substantive on this issue.It’s not about our gallant former Prime Minister,but results (unfortunately)

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    gwaya 8 years ago

    The concern of grand coalition or not, is from the politicians and as for us,the public we need a strong opposition that shack the corridors of power rather test each others’ power. Let us unite for a common cause. Tell us about the prospects of liberating the oppressed rather who is more intelligent amongst you fools, politics is not about you but about what can offer to the populace in return.

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    Joseph Matongo 8 years ago

    There is no political dispensation in Zimbabwe that leaves Tsvangirai out of its matrix. You like it or not. Some of the johnny comes to town commenting only about what you see today have never given a thought about yester-year politics of our country. There is no strong opposition in Zimbabwe from the time of ZUM that has shaken ZANU (PF) than MDC – T. You like it or not. Akoniwa chii chacho when everyone clearly knows that a stronger MDC with Welshman and Biti should overthrow ZANU. CIO having done its homework very well embarked on overdrive and Wananchi fell for Gono’s chicken money. Unfortunately, the guys fell by the wayside look at Welshman does he has any seat anywhere in the country? Refresh my mind. Grand coalition without Tsvangirai is a misnormer. You fall into political oblivion forever. Sorry maenda guys

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    mandevu 8 years ago

    The only way to bring about substantial and lasting change is for civil society at large to stand up and demand. The current political mess is not trusted by the electorate. One or more of the opposition might be capable of galvanising civil society but then needs to step back. There will be damage but that is the price