The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) prefers its leader leading the much talked about opposition grand coalition ahead of the 2018 general elections.
Opposition parties are united in acknowledging the importance of merging under a coalition so as to boost their chances of beating President Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu PF.
MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora, told a party rally in Ruwa that Tsvangirai would this week make an announcement on the coalition but insisted that it must be led by a person who has beaten Mugabe before.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC-T president, surprised Mugabe in March 2008 when he won the first round of the presidential poll, but did not garner enough votes to form a government on his own.
He pulled out of the run-off that took place in June of the same year, citing widespread violence and voter intimidation.
“The president will make an announcement on this but we want a candidate who has beaten Mugabe before,” he said.
He added that they preferred a “candidate with no blood on his hands, a candidate who has shown performance related promises when he was once in government.”
Mwonzora’s statements could preempt what Tsvangirai intends to say.
Tsvangirai and Mujuru are the strongest contenders to lead the coalition if it finally takes off.
The electorate is still treating Mujuru with caution, having been part of Mugabe’s government since 1980 when her husband was also army commander during the 1982-1987 massacres of civilians as the military cracked down on perceived dissidents,
She was also there when the Zanu PF government forcibly removed commercial white farmers, during the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina that displaced close a million homeless people, according to the United Nations, and the 2008 election-related violence that left at least 400 opposition supporters dead towards the presidential run-off.
Mujuru at the weekend hailed Tsvangirai for being brave as he led the struggle against the Mugabe establishment.
Over the years, efforts to form a grand coalition have faltered, with critics blaming the political leaders of putting their egos ahead of the common cause of dislodging. Nehanda Radio