MDC leader Welshman Ncube has raised alarm at the snail’s pace at which his colleagues in the opposition are moving to iron out their differences to pave way for coalition talks to end Zanu PF rule.
Ncube yesterday warned time was fast running out for them to coalesce ahead of the 2018 elections.
“The last 15 years have proven there is no single opposition party with the capacity to confront and defeat a government such as the one we have in any election,” he said.
“Time is of the essence. We have basically 22 months before the next elections, but the last 12 months would really be for campaigning. So we need to be able to find each other much sooner, long before the end of this year.”
He said there was consensus among opposition players that “we are facing a national crisis” and that it was necessary “for us to begin to put our heads together, act collectively and seek to find collective solutions”.
“Everyone is talking to everyone,” he said. Ncube said the challenge was finding an agreement to formalise the coalition.
“Even if we were to win political power, you will need collective national solutions to mobilise every Zimbabwean, regional and international community to have a local Marshall Plan. I believe there is growing realisation among all the opposition players for a collective action and approach to 2018.”
The Marshall Plan was a United States programme to aid Western Europe in the aftermath of World War II.
Asked whether the coalition talks were being stalled by personal egos among opposition leaders, Ncube said: “It’s not about egos, but about genuine political differences in what we should stand for and what sort of government we will form if we win.”
Several opposition parties have come out in support of a coalition pact, but not much progress has been made to bring them together to challenge the faction-ridden ruling Zanu PF.
These include People’s Democratic Party led by Tendai Biti, Zapu, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, National Constitutional Assembly and the newly-formed Zimbabwe People First fronted by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T has long indicated that it would not be part of the coalition talks, but was willing to work with anyone opposed to Zanu PF irrespective of their numerical value. newsday