ZIMBABWEANS in foreign lands are coalescing around a new political outfit called the United Democratic Front (UDF) to challenge the ruling ZANU-PF in the potentially explosive 2018 general elections, the Financial Gazette can report.
While UDF is still to agree on a leader, those who are behind this latest political project are eager to bring on board an influential businessman currently based in the United Kingdom to lead the party.
In the event that they succeed, it would be the second time inside a decade that an opposition political party has had to headhunt for a leader in order to enhance their chances of dislodging President Robert Mugabe from power.
After breaking away from Morgan Tsvangirai in 2005, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) rebels recruited Arthur Mutambara, a robotics professor, from his base in South Africa to lead the splinter group.
A few years down the line, Mutambara had to be jettisoned from his position through a bloodless palace coup, orchestrated by Welshman Ncube, who ironically had hired him in the first place.
UDF’s approach seems to strike a chord with a prophecy by Emmanuel Makandiwa, leader of the United Family International Church, who said that President Mugabe’s successor would emerge from the Diaspora.
The prophecy has been met with derision from both ZANU-PF and the MDC-T — the country’s major political actors.
UDF is promising to “use the electoral mandate from the 2018 elections to deliver positive and real time change that would benefit the ordinary people of Zimbabwe who are suffering because they are not the ‘chosen few’.”
The party, which has put together a manifesto as well as an outline for what it calls an advisory council, says the year “2018 would be the beginning of the process of dismantling the more than 35 years of despair and uncertainty”.
In its vision statement, UDF says it is for a just and fair Zimbabwean society where everyone is equal and morality is at the very core of nation building.
“The UDF is for a nation of proud citizens and a State that occupies its rightful place among the global family of nations while interacting, contributing meaningfully and visibly benefiting, from the global village that is the world economic and political environment today,” the vision statement said.
Over four million Zimbabweans now reside in foreign lands.