via Zim groups discuss grand coalition | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu on Thursday, April 17, 2014
Players in the opposition political movement may be considering joining forces and forming a grand coalition, in a bid to unseat the ZANU PF regime.
Over the past few weeks officials from some opposition political parties have spoken about the need for such a coalition, following the disappointment with the last election result, which ZANU PF fraudulently won.
Some political observers acknowledge that ZANU PF stole the election but say the opposition also failed to coordinate and work together, choosing instead to split the vote, even in areas where fielding one opposition candidate would have worked in their favour.
On Friday the South African based Mail and Guardian newspaper said Zim opposition political figures were talking with a view to working together under a grand coalition.
So far the rumour is that this coalition will include political formations such as Welshman Ncube’s MDC, the MDC Renewal Team, Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA, civil society groups and churches.
According to the Mail & Guardian, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been excluded from the coalition, possibly because of the current internal strife that has seen the expulsion of key party members who wanted him to step down.
Last month MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti, who is said to be part of the renewal team, suggested at a public meeting that opposition forces should form a coalition to fight ZANU PF.
Over the weekend the MDC’s Welshman Ncube reiterated the calls, with MDC-T official Samuel Sipepa Nkomo adding his support for this coalition at a meeting held in Bulawayo Wednesday.
Harare-based economist and keen political observer Vince Musewe confirmed to SW Radio Africa that talks were ongoing between civil society groups, churches and political parties.
He said it was important that civil society groups are involved if this coalition is to work.
Nixon Nyikadzino of rights group the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition welcomes the idea, but said the success of the coalition will largely depend on how inclusive it is and what its objectives are.
“If you remember the MDCs formed a coalition towards last year’s election which failed because they were coalitions of convenience which the parties did not take seriously.
“We need a democratic coalition that is non-sexist, non-violent, promotes tolerance, debate and treats people fairly and equally,” Nyikadzino said.
Useni Sibanda, religious leader and head of the Zim Institute for Social Transformation, said there must be a place in the coalition for the involvement of Zimbabweans currently based abroad.
Sibanda said church leaders in Zimbabwe had grown quiet. He said they should be holding political leaders to account but have withdrawn from this role because of the repression and heavy-handedness of the ZANU PF regime.