A grand coalition to unseat President Robert Mugabe is failing to materialise because some political leaders are pushing for self-serving agendas rather than national interest, analysts have noted.
REPORT BY BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
They said if major political parties had united in the 2008 election, Mugabe would have been voted out of office to usher Zimbabwe into a new and progressive political dispensation.
During the elections, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai got 47% votes and Simba Makoni of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn polled 8%.
If Tsvangirai and Makoni had come together, they would have easily defeated Mugabe who got 43% and avoided a run-off.
Analysts said Mugabe, who has been ruling the country for over three decades, could prevail in the July 31 harmonised elections if leaders of major political parties in the country remained divided and continued to pursue self-fulfilling agendas.
Attempts by the MDC-T, MDC, Zapu, Zanu Ndonga and Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn to form a coalition against Zanu PF in the past few months have failed amid accusations and counter accusations.
This has resulted in two coalitions being formed along tribal and regional lines.
MDC-T has joined hands with Simba Makoni’s Mavambo and Zanu Ndonga and their leaders come from Manicaland province.
On the other hand, MDC led by Welshman Ncube and Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, both from Matabeleland, have also formed their alliance.
Other than enunciating their party policies to the electorate, the party leaders are spending most of their time taking a pick at each other at campaign meetings, an indication that it is unlikely that they could come together before the elections.
On Friday, Ncube described the coalition led by MDC-T as fake.
University of Zimbabwe law lecturer, Professor Greg Lennington said it was unfortunate that major political parties in the country had failed to form a coalition.
“I think it would have enhanced their prospects of winning the upcoming elections had they formed an alliance,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate.”
He urged the party leaders to stop forming alliances along tribal and regional lines as nobody would benefit from that.
THERE IS STILL TIME FOR AN ALLIANCE — NKOMO
Political analyst, Dumisani Nkomo said no political party had the luxury of thinking it had the majority following.
He said every vote was important if the political parties wanted to remove Mugabe and Zanu PF from power.
“When dealing with a dictatorship, it’s also possible that where certain political parties has no people, elections might be rigged in favour of those parties to ensure there is no outright winner,” said Nkomo.
“So if there is a coalition, Zanu PF cannot rig in favour of any party other than itself. It can play with the smaller figures to prevent victory for one political party.”
He said it was not too late for the parties to forge an alliance.
“Remember in 2008, Makoni came on the political scene a few weeks before elections but managed to get 8%,” said Nkomo.
‘Tsvangirai, Ncube the real deal’
National Association of Non-governmental Organisations (Nango) chairperson, Effie Ncube said the two coalitions were neither tribal nor regional but political.
He said the only winning coalition in Zimbabwe was the one that involved Tsvangirai and Ncube.
“This is just politics,” he said. “In this election, Tsvangirai needs Ncube [Welshman] and Ncube needs Tsvangirai so they need to urgently reach an agreement.”
But he was quick to point out that at the moment the “leader of change” in Zimbabwe was Tsvangirai.
“He [Tsvangirai] must ensure that every anti-Zanu PF vote is a vote for Tsvangirai. No single vote must be lost,” said Effie Ncube. “He must make sure that Ncube, Dabengwa, Makoni and Ndonga are all on board.”
The Nango boss said Makoni’s political support could have decreased since 2008 because the former Sadc executive secretary disappeared from the political scene after the polls, only to reappear now.
Makoni could not be reached to comment on whether he had brought to the coalition those “senior Zanu PF officials” who were supposed to defect to his party when he launched Mavambo just before the 2008 elections.
Presidential aspirant, Kisinoti Mukwazhe blamed the MDC-T for the failure of the coalition. He said they had agreed to rally behind Tsvangirai under the banner “One Zimbabwe, one Presidential Candidate”.
“But the MDC-T technical team killed the project because they thought they are too big and wanted to steal the thunder,” said Mukwazhe, who claimed to have been part of the initial coalition negotiations.
Efforts to get a comment from MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora were fruitless yesterday.