via Zapu to consider MDC coalition proposal – DailyNews Live by Jeffrey Muvundusi 23 MARCH 2014
Opposition Zapu party is willing to engage the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai provided both parties agree on terms and conditions of the re-engagement, the party’s alternate secretary-general, Strike Mkandla, has said.
The party’s reaction comes in the wake of Tsvangirai’s call last weekend for opposition forces to forge a united front to contest the Zanu PF stranglehold of power since independence in 1980.
The MDC president is inviting fellow comrades in opposition politics to team up in what has been viewed as a move to ward off pressure for him to step down since his public fallout with the suspeded deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma and secretary-general Tendai Biti.
Erstwhile MDC 99 leader Job Sikhala, former executives from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation Edward Mkhosi, and Siyabonga Malundu, former Arthur Mutambara faction national chairman Jourbet Mudzume and a former Gweru mayor Tedious Chimombe have since re-joined the original party.
Speaking at a rally in Bulawayo last weekend, party national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa called all progressive forces including Zapu to join the grand coalition in a bid to unseat President Robert Mugabe, in power for 34 years.
Tsvangirai has described the current drive as a major step in rejuvenating the spirit of 1999 when the party was formed and became so robust as to pose the greatest political threat to Mugabe’s uninterrupted rule.
Mkandla told the Daily News on Sunday that Zapu had an open platform for any progressive engagement.
“We have not yet been approached by Tsvangirai and his party,” he said. “All we have heard have been media reports on the matter and that’s the problem where someone puts the horse before the cart.
“All the same, if they came we will talk to them and hear what they have to say. But for a fact we as a party have a standing position on what kind of alliance we want. All we need is a purposeful alliance with clear programmes and objectives in it.”
Towards the July 31 harmonised elections last year, the Dumiso Dabengwa-led party snubbed overtures by Tsvangirai before settling for an obscure pact with smaller MDC president Welshman Ncube that failed to ganner even a single parliamentary seat.
Ncube has said he was not willing to go into a coalition where the conditions were pre-determined, particularly on leadership.
The Zapu spokesperson said his party will never oppose an alliance with any like-minded people to bring about a real and genuine change to the people of Zimbabwe.
“We will see if there is a need to team up with anyone and we will consider that and look at its advantages and benefits. We need to have a common purpose. But it should be noted that a united front is not having one monolithic party absorbing another,” Mkandla said.
Last year while addressing a rally in Chikomba, Dabengwa disclosed that he deliberately supported former Finance minister Simba Makoni’s candidature to block an imminent victory by Tsvangirai in the March 2008 presidential race.
National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku reportedly snubbed the MDC’s unity calls over the weekend, while addressing a rally in Gweru.
“My decision to form a party is a clear indication that I’m not willing to merge with any party. MDC-T is trying to block us from becoming a better political party,” Madhuku said.