By Daniel Chigundu
OPPOSITION parties in the country have hinted to the possibility of forming a grant coalition for the impending 2018 general elections.
A coalition is seen by many as the link that has been missing among opposition parties for them to out rightly defeat President Robert Mugabe in elections since 2000 when the MDC was formed.
About nine opposition parties have so far agreed to some form of coalition under the banner of Coalition of Democrats (CODE) while main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has signed MOUs to work together with Welshman Ncube of MDC-N and Joice Mujuru of NPP.
While there is general agreement by all opposition parties that grand coalition is the way to go, there has not been real progress towards that direction owing to personal differences among the leaders.
MDC-T national party spokesperson Obert Gutu’s posed two questions on facebook about the coalitions “(a) Do you want opposition political parties to form a coalition? (b) What kind of coalition do you prefer (pre or post election)?
Below are some of the responses from Zimbabweans in and outside the country.
Councillor Zimbabwe: Post. That’s the most scientific way of going about it. That process is hustle free
John Kasten: But mai Mujuru havatonge chinhu munochema navo mangwana
Edward Mutondoro: No to coalition at this time
Nelson Taguta: Post election coalition is the way to go!
Ordie Baba Rue Nzvere: Post munenge makuvadzwa kareeee
Petros Shayanowako: Pre-election. Post will be of no use. The votes would have been split and a loss suffered already
Vusa Mtetwa: Potential Infiltration pre
Terrence Tazvivinga: Too late now for pre-election coalition. It seems there is no consensus on the coalition candidate hence it will take months of negotiations yet elections are due within the next 12 months.
Rickson Kangwena: Each part for itself, coalition can’t work in Zimbabwe
Charles Magwaza: I thought the Coalition has been done already, but if it’s you asking this, it means nothing has happened. I would go for a pre-election one. Should it happen, say all opposition use one name, e.g. United Parties. Save for president, mai Mujuru and Ncube deputies, while Biti goes for Finance and Dabengwa for Defence. Can you agree on that, and then have some rallies to enlighten POVO, ASAP
Pascal Everson: Pre election.post will be a post mortem of what would have gone wrong.
Runyararo Mherekumombe: (a) Yes (b) Pre-election has more weight
Runyararo Mherekumombe: A pre-coalition helps prevent splitting of votes, speaking one message to the people, combining rallies, covering much ground in terms of campaign, providing a united front against ZANUPF machinery, builds confidence among those who might be skeptical about voting.
Mk Elias Senthufe: MDC T is a coalition on its own. Regai zvi Party zvidiki timboona kuti zvinoita sei zviri zvega.
Mk Elias Senthufe: How will you trust Joice Mujuru?
Adolf Jamela: Post coalition so that the party with the biggest number of legislators leads the coalition to crash any possible dispute on who should lead. Also this would eliminate chances of incorporating infiltrators into the opposition.
Elizabeth Leboho: If we achieve to have electoral reforms then there won’t be any need for coalition.
Jackson Muzivi: The only coalition needed is one that ensures we get a President from the opposition
Rejoice Ngwenya: A typically diluted Obert Gutu way of saying “Tsvangirai does not need a coalition.” Of course he does. If he didn’t, he would have been Zim president in 2008. Why then did he sign a MoU with Joice and Welshman? Same old Tsvangirai, two steps forward, three steps back. Please musafurira Tsvangirai. Mugabe is still a big chunk to bite in 2018.
Islam Chipango: Yes to coalition and pre-election is far better.
Charles Magwaza: I second you and would choose from your options number 2. Thanks.
Ronald Mufunga: coalition, coalition but do not recycle a loser, with due respect Tsvangirai should not lead a coalition. Tsvangirai lacks stamina to lure rural vote
Methuseli Moyo: Post is dangerous. You may not even get to that stage. Pre is best because it does not leave anything to chance.
Garikai Zheve: Coalition for a specific purpose does not work. If people will unite like what happened to Zanu and Zapu is the only way to go. You will cry again after elections. If all these several parties’ leaders knew that they want to remove one common enemy should have joined.
Methuseli Moyo: There may be no reason to negotiate after the polls really. As far as I see, there is one option: pre polls or each man for himself. But there will be hue and cry. Some gambles are not worth taking.
Jackson Muzivi: the post election pact can be negotiated now as a promissory note in the event the opposition wins. It does not have to be negotiated after the elections
Methuseli Moyo: Yah but you can’t guarantee people’s behaviour in politics. You know the Nkomo/Mugabe and other stories. Election results will shift positions to the extent that one “partner” may swing to the other side and we are back to square one. Think about this
Jackson Muzivi the specifics of the pact will be reduced to writing and subscribers will submit to litigation as a means of dispute resolution if need be
Methuseli Moyo: Going to a Zanu court to resolve opposition disputes? The safest thing is to do and dust the pact first. Anything else is open to manipulation.
Paul Derera: Pre but the partners are so fowl mouthed to the extent that l questions their seriousness… They may withdraw and join Zanu PF remember the ZUM incident where the incumbent would be candidate demanded to meet Mugabe and tell him the ZUM secrets, play it wisely
Tendai Chatendeuka 0+0=0
Tendai Chatendeuka: a coalition will only work chief if only your leaders are not power hungry
Lorraine Wilson: Well said Tendai.
Pishai Muchauraya: Pre Election coalition is the ideal one. However it serves no purpose to join with Zanu pf proxies. You will regret one of these days
Shandai Neshungu Mubudirire: Senator Gutu munotanga ma signer memorandum mozouya ku research here….. Cause takakuonai muchi signer chibvumirano kare nana mai Mujuru saka makudei kuvanhu.. Rongekai kani
Bryton Hillary Mahachi: I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to do coalition government, we as the MDC -T are very strong to win elections alone
Muzvare-Princess Betty Makoni: Opposition parties should form coalition. In UK opposition parties have lost because of disunity. Unity does not mean having one President. It means good credible leaders coming up with a structure to work together for common goal and be majority to challenge Zanu PF and its policies detrimental to development of the poor. Precisely the poor should unite also at grassroots level.
- Unity does not mean you are choosing a President. Unity means agreeing on policies and principled leadership. Unity means letting go ego and selfishness. It means letting go power to others.
- Voting is in rural areas where people there are almost captives. Harare is and towns are easy to monitor as they are accessible. More people are needed to unite in areas of deprivation where BVR is going to be used to favour of Zanu PF.
That said it is best to unite right now and fight later. Common enemy is one. Not many of these little parties have a base but every little helps to speak with one vote.
Zimbabwe politics is not mature at all. It is emotional and not rational. Also lots of propaganda machineries in place. Only unity counters that.
The pain and poverty of Zimbabweans should unite them. Election should be against the rich and powerful.
Zambia and Malawi have good case studies of united opposition.