Thursday, 25 August 2016


Former Midlands governor and ex-Zanu PF politburo member Cephas Msipa has said it would be folly for his party to ignore the demands of the people, particularly in the wake of reports of plans by opposition parties to form a coalition against President Robert Mugabe.

Msipa yesterday said in any democratic country, it would be wise to listen to demands of the people.

Recently, 18 opposition parties under the banners of National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and Coalition for Democrats (Code) met in the capital where they set the stage for a planned coalition that will see them planning to field one presidential candidate against Mugabe ahead of the 2018 polls.

Tomorrow, the 18 opposition parties, among them Zimbabwe People First led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, the MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party, Elton Mangoma’s Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn led by Simba Makoni, are planning “the mother of all demonstrations” to force Zanu PF government to implement electoral reforms.

Zanu PF has since dismissed the coalition as a waste of time with political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere recently saying his party was not moved by such a move despite unleashing State security apparatus when such forces take to the streets.

But Msipa said Zanu PF could not afford to ignore the recent developments where opposition forces join hands.

“It would be folly for people (in Zanu PF) to bury their heads in the sand when people are making a lot of noise, you can only ignore people at your own peril,” Msipa told NewsDay in an interview.

Asked if Mugabe could stand a presidential candidate from the envisaged opposition coalition, the former Midlands governor was non-committal in answering the question choosing to just say the country was in a difficult situation.

“That is a difficult question. I am retired and would choose to watch from the terraces, things as they unfold,” he said.

“I would not want to go public about that (Mugabe versus a possible opposition grand coalition leader). I reserve my comments serve to say I agree there is need for change (within Zanu PF).”
In the past, Msipa had openly said there was need for Mugabe to pass on the baton to a younger leader in the party.

He has also challenged his party to embrace renewal of leadership, failure of which he said it would be weakened over time. newsday


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