A UNITED democratic front to challenge the 34 year-old Zanu PF rule is in the offing with the new initiative set to be officially launched in Harare in two months, it has emerged.
Those privy to the goings-on have confided to NewsDay that the MDC-T “renewal” team that “suspended” party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other standing committee members on Saturday had started a crusade to lure “all democrats” with a view to setting up a united front.
“Renewal” team spokesperson Jacob Mafume confirmed yesterday that they were in talks with the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Zapu led by Dumiso Dabengwa, civic society groups and others “locked up in undemocratic institutions” to come up with a winning team in 2018.
“The position is we will try and hold talks with political actors and civic society so that we approach the crisis as a collective force,” Mafume said. “We need a convention or a big meeting to air the strategies. We need to identify the common strength and understand that poverty is our common enemy.”
He said within the next two months, a convention would be called where a united force was likely to merge.
“It will happen within the next two months. We have been in talks with the MDC led by Ncube, Zapu led by Dabengwa, the (Mutumwa) Mawere-led party and several civic society groups. We are looking for democrats locked up in undemocratic institutions to be saved from dictators,” Mafume said.
He said Tsvangirai had no chance of forming or being any part of a coalition given his record.
Recently, Ncube hinted of the need for a coalition to win against Zanu PF saying: “We need a convention of true democrats wherever they are located, free or not free, to relook at what went wrong and establish a credible agenda for change.
“What might need to be done as we have a generational responsibility to recapture the spirit of 1999 and have a working people’s convention, in my view, is to have an organised opposition united by a common commitment in word and deed and sincere people who believe that we can eclipse Zanu PF. But if the opposition is fragmented the people will also remain divided. We can only win if we recapture the 1999 spirit.”
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti recently hinted of the need for a united front.
On the MDC-T national council meeting that is purporting to have suspended them, Mafume said: “That’s dictatorship, they have a predetermined decision that they want people to come and dance while they pronounce it. They have been suspended and they should go to the courts if they want.”
A senior party member, speaking on condition he is not named, said it was important not to centre the “struggle on an individual because it is the people’s struggle”. That’s why the idea of an alliance becomes important; it creates a flagship of political excitement seeing to it that many people had lost confidence in the opposition as shown by the decline in numbers of people coming out to vote,” said the official