Zimbabwe is currently going through an Economic , Social and Political Crisis which has mainly been caused by weak state institutions and lack of leadership renewal since independence in 1980. President Mugabe who is the only leader Zimbabwe has ever known for the past 37 years has shown no signs of wanting to retire despite the economic turmoil and being the World’s Oldest Leader at 93 years.
By D.R Nyambiya
He recently closed the door on his ambitious lieutenants in Zanu Pf when he indicated that they did not possess the skills of statecraft to successed him as President but at the same time tried to prop up his young wife into the Zanu PF succession matrix, by insisting that ‘She (Grace Mugabe) is well-seasoned now, she’s a very strong character very much accepted by the people.’
This statement caused outrage as it was interpreted by many people to mean that he wanted to create a Mugabe Dynasty. However , as President Mugabe pursues plans for his Dynasty , the only way to stop his plans and to get out of this Crisis is for the Opposition Parties to come together and form a Grand Alliance for the 2018 General Election to challenge the Dominance of Zanu Pf. The reality is that there is a big possibility a Grand Alliance might not happen due to political haggling caused by greed and egos.
The main basis for a Grand Alliance to happen is for smaller parties that are in CODE to not just look from their own perspective of seeking equality in the Grand Alliance with bigger players but to also understand the MDC-T’s main concern of not wanting to piggyback other political parties in the name of a Grand Alliance.
At the end of the day a Grand Alliance which includes all the opposition political parties is what most Zimbabweans are clamouring for and a united opposition has a better chance to unseat Zanu Pf from power in September 2018 but there is a strong possibility it might not happen as smaller parties will likely coalesce in CODE while MDCT is strongly believed to have already struck a behind the scenes alliance pact with Zimpf (Mujuru) and to a lesser extent with Welshman Ncube’s MDC to form the Democratic Coalition (DECO).
The two main impediments to a Grand Alliance are that CODE is demandingequality while DECO is demanding that each political party’s capability be recognised by the Grand Alliance. If and when these two impediments are overcome then a Grand Alliance is a possibility for Zimbabwe in the 2018 General Elections.
Mugabe and Zanu Pf’s long rule in Zimbabwe can only be ended by a united opposition that will combine strategies , capabilities and resources into one powerful unit against a single & demotivated enemy, in time for the General Election in September 2018.
In conclusion , The MDCT as the biggest opposition party is rightly searching for political players who will complementand enhance its 2018 Election Strategy.
However the MDCT is cautioned against being high handed in negotiations with smaller parties but it is encouraged to strive to reach a compromise in the interest of the nation so that a Grand Alliance becomes a reality since it stands to benefit the most by inheriting the political crown of the national presidency if the Grand Alliance wins the 2018 Elections to form a Grand Coalition Government.
The same negotiation strategy the MDC-T successfully used against ZimPF’s , to mirror its shortcomings against ZimPF’s capabilities can also be utilised in negotiations with CODE to reach a Grand Alliance Agreement , otherwise smaller parties will be spoilers in the 2018 Elections.
And last but not least a Grand Alliance must only be seen as a solid base to start from on the long and torturous journey to dethrone Zanu PF from power in the 2018 General Elections.
The Grand Alliance will need to do much more ; beginning with targeting the under 35s to register to vote as they constitute 70 % of the population , re-energise its urban base for a high turnout on election day and it must conduct rigorous voter education in rural areas to counter coercion and intimidation by Zanu PF.
Writer : Darlington Nyambiya is the President of the Local Solutions Council (LSC) , a leading Zimbabwe Think Tank. The LSC is a Think Tank with members from diverse Zimbabwean communities in politics, business , religion and sports. He is also a Pro Democracy Activist , Political Strategist , Human Rights Defender , Social Media Commentator , Writer and a Business Executive. Contact Details – Mobile Number : +44 74 823 56315 , Twitter handle: D_Nyambiya, Email :firstname.lastname@example.org , Corporate Twitter Handle : lsc_thinktank ,Website :www.localsolutionscouncil.com