HARARE – Mafume ruled out re-unification with MDC-T but said they would rather form an electoral pact and fight Zanu (PF) from one corner, since there were no personal differences between Tsvangirai, Biti and any other member of the MDC formations.
“What is important and possible is an election pact by opposition parties to win the 2018 election against Zanu (PF), not to dissolve different political formations.
“Ideally, different political parties would come up with a pact and win elections first, then share cabinet posts and other responsibilities in the subsequent government,” said Mafume, pointing out that the Renewal Team was not competing against MDC-T, but were allies fighting one common enemy, Zanu (PF).
According to Mafume, the MDCs, labour, church, student organisations and civil society among other democratic forces’ roles are complementary to each other and would not be in conflict.
Zimbabwe at this juncture, Mafume noted, would be comfortable with a coalition that sets rules for a common electoral strategy, not reuniting the parties with leaders obsessed with personal power.
He made a call for opposition leadership to have ‘conversation with themselves’ and see where they went wrong.
Mafume urged the opposition to respect multi-party democracy while having the ability to merge interests under a pact and fight the enemy.
Reuniting the MDCs and other opposition parties, according to Mafume, will have problems as those bound to lose positions as a result of the merger might pull out of the struggle, rendering the objective unattainable.
“Besides, reunification would be a long and taxing process, as there would be need to conduct primaries which are divisive if not properly handled.”
Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC-T leader, pinned hopes of change in a grand-coalition.
“I for one, would be prepared to seriously consider a grand coalition. The sooner people sit down together and start discussing how to unite and form a formidable party, the better,” Tsvangirai said in his end of year address.
Promise Mkwananzi, Renewal Team youth national executive member, said divided, the opposition will not remove Zanu (PF) from power.
“Morgan Tsvangirai is welcome in the coalition as long as he comes without the Big brother mentality.
“The coalition of political parties will have no president and leadership would be chosen by the people,” Mkwananzi said.
Charles Mangongera, a political commentator said: “Any coalition by the opposition will be supported by the electorate as it would emerge as a new democratisation initiative.”
Simba Makoni, leader Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile, welcomed an inclusive coalition that takes everybody aboard.”
Observers had reservations about any arrangement meant to form a meaningful common front by the opposition.
They said MDC-T believed that it was the most popular party in the country and had what it takes to go it alone.
Following the reunification of the Renewal Team and MDC led by Welshman Ncube in Harare last November, Obert Gutu, MDC-T spokesperson, said: “Tsvangirai is not losing sleep over the coalition formed by political dwarfs. MDC-T is the most popular party in the country and is seized with the economic challenges facing the nation.”