By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
Saturday 5 August at Highfield’ s Zimbabwe Grounds saw the signing of a pact with some opposition forces where they unanimously agreed to rally behind one presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC-T in next year’s polls.
It was historic indeed as it brought together MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai, founding secretary general of MDC Professor Welshman Ncube and his successor Tendai Biti.Also coming in handy was the solidarity by the civic organization and social movements particularly #This Flag and Tajamuka ably represented by Pastor E and Promise Mkwananzi respectively. The feeling was nostalgic judging with how the majority of the supporters who thronged the grounds celebrated when Professor Ncube conceded that they erred in the past and the time had come for redress.
The coming in of smaller opposition outfits like Transform Zimbabwe led by Jacob Ngarivhume, former ambassador and brigadier general Agrippa Mutambara-led ZimPF, Zanu Ndonga and MDC is likely to bolster the former prime minister’s chances of winning the presidency.
Dubbed the MDC alliance, the event also showed the flip side of the coalition notably the absence of the other top brass of the MDC-T executive that includes the party’s first vice president Thokozani Khupe and national organizing secretary Abedinico Bhebhe who were conspicuous by their absence. It was a tell-tale sign that all is not well in the MDC-T and this was later confirmed by the reports of the violence that was meted on the aforementioned executive members who blame the party’s president for unleashing ‘thugs’ on them. This is likely to see a split of the party which would then derail the efforts of the coalition.
The level of intolerance that the main opposition party’s supporters exhibited when ever people from the civic society and other opposition leaders took to the podium was sickening. Tendai Biti of PDP was a subject of boos and labeling when he delivered his speech and this could be detrimental for the coalition to be effective. The supporters would not tolerate any party slogan despite the event being a multi-party event.
The pact has also left many young and aspiring leaders feeling being left out as they feel the sharing of parliamentary and council seats is going to limit them. It is this regard that political activist Acie Lumumba expressed his criticism of the coalition on his facebook account
“The notion that because MT has the numbers so he should be supported baffles me, RGM too has the numbers; so why don’t we all support him? He who has the numbers must use them to support he who has an actual plan for the country. If MT does have a plan, please educate me on what it is? Having said that, a coalition is the right way forward, but we must interrogate the kind of coalition we are referring to.
“A coalition with no youth or female leadership is not reflective of the Zimbabwe I want, in fact, is insulting to the youth and women leaders in Zimbabwe. It will NEVER get my support and I am prepared to defend that position. I am too invested in Zimbabwe to be politically correct so GTF out of here with that mess” he wrote.
Other opposition parties like Mujuru’s NPP, Simba Makoni’s MKD, Elton Mangoma and Dabengwa-led ZAPU just to mention but a few feel coalition is not yet a done deal and if they are not considered this is likely to stunt the growth of this new baby-MDC alliance.