Wednesday, 20 April 2016


Opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has declined to comment on suggestions that he takes on a key role in the mooted grand coalition to strike a deal to see the opposition into power.

This comes as Zanu PF politburo member and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo sensationally said that the former trade unionist should lead the coalition after the former prime minister staged a successful demonstration last week to express his party’s misgivings about the state of the economy and President Robert Mugabe’s continued rule.
The march revealed that Mugabe’s long-time rival, who has been lying low since his devastating loss in the 2013 election, remains a force to reckon with.

Though describing it as a “coalition of losers”, Moyo said Tsvangirai’s bumper crowd showed that he is the one who should lead the pack.

“It’s all about who should lead the coalition of losers. Joice Mujuru has an uphill task after yesterday (April 14)’s MDCT demo!” Moyo wrote on his Twitter account.
In the follow up tweets, Moyo said the MDC demonstration was not about Zanu PF. He claimed Zanu PF had the numbers, adding that the MDC demonstration was on Mujuru’s “stillborn” Zimbabwe People First.

“I’m smoking the truth. The demo was about demonstrating that Tsvangirai not Mujuru should lead opposition coalition!

“Because Mujuru is struggling to get 100 people to attend her party’s rallies, which explains why she’s in hiding!” Moyo said on the micro blogging site.
Tsvangirai, through his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, said the MDC leader backs in principle a grand coalition that will see the opposition into power, but said the issue was not about positions.

In a development largely seen as building the base for the coalition, 10 leaders from different opposition political parties agreed to issue a joint independence commemoration statement on Monday, but Mujuru’s ZPF issued a separate statement.
“Who knows what tomorrow holds for us?” Tamborinyoka said.

“It’s still two years away from the 2018 elections and we agreed on issues and conditions and not positions. That is what is important for now for the good of the people and the country, a big tent of opposition political parties agreeing, leaders finding each other that make us happy.”

An opposition grand opposition may sound far-fetched, especially amid the froth and fury of a nascent election campaign, but is the only way of ending Mugabe’s rule in crunch 2018 elections, analysts have said.

While there are serious disagreements and big egos among the opposition parties that could scuttle the mooted alliance, analysts said the parties will have to forge common ground with the insurgents on many key issues if they hope to overthrow Mugabe and his governing Zanu PF party.

Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said the prospects for a coalition are grim, “especially where MDC and (Joice Mujuru’s opposition) ZPF suddenly consider themselves as larger than life.”

“However, in the unlikely event of a coalition, there will be a conflict as to who is head of class, in which case it might require external mediation for a compromise candidate.
“This candidate will then have to make a commitment to apportion parliamentary seats on a rational, rather than proportional representation basis.”

Ngwenya said more importantly, there was need for some reassurance that all negotiating parties will nominate ministerial posts.
“The question: will big, bloated egos get on the way of a grand electoral coalition? Answer: a resounding yes!”

Political analyst and civil rights campaigner McDonald Lewanika said the next election will be fought and won on hope, and who the people feel gives them the best chance as a country to move out of the shadows of crisis.

He said an organised or partially disorganised Zanu PF can win against a divided opposition.

“Yet a united opposition at different levels can reintroduce belief and give people hope. For the opposition parties, it is a matter of either celebrating their small fiefdoms and stay put in opposition, or federate and stand a greater chance of taking over the state,” he said.
“The opportunity for a broad-based coalition, which will have a multiparty government, is there and the people of Zimbabwe have been amenable to such a situation of multi-party governments since 2002 according to opinion polls, and also recent memories of the inclusive government.”

Speaking in his 92nd birthday interview, Mugabe — who has been nominated by Zanu PF as the 2018 presidential candidate — scoffed at the idea of a grand coalition, saying it will not threaten his rule in any way.

“If you put zero plus zero plus zero plus zero, grand zeros, what do they amount to? You are afraid of them?” Mugabe asked rhetorically.

“Don’t they even amount to eggs; if they were one egg plus another, plus another and another, another I would say well, at least I have four breakfasts.” daily news


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