By Daniel Chigundu
Seasoned economist Vince Musewe says the time is ripe for opposition party leaders to swallow their pride and form a coalition if they entertain any hopes of winning 2018 elections.
Zimbabwe is scheduled to go for general elections to determine not only the future of the country, but also the future of opposition parties and even that of faction laden Zanu PF.
Opposition parties in the country have publicly made their intentions to form a grand coalition ahead of the decisive 2018 general elections.
However their intentions and efforts have been setback by squabbles and jockeying for the coalition leadership post, mainly by bigger opposition parties, but according to Musewe if parties decide to go it alone in 2018, then Zanu PF will win the polls.
“I think it is naive and dangerous for any political party to think that it can win substantive power in 2018 by going it alone. Everything is pointing to another Zanu PF win not because they are competent but that they remain dominant by hook or crook.
“In my opinion this is not the time for multiple coalitions pushing own agendas but an acceptance that 2018 must be a window to the future which requires some of our politicians to swallow their pride and accept the fact that our electorate is still to be educated on what and who they should vote for.
“That can only be achieved after we dismiss Zanu PF first from power in 2018. So let us admit that 2018 elections must bring in a transition both political and economic and it’s only in 2023 that we can begin to look at competencies quality and ethics of those who seek power.
“If we agree on that we therefore must accept to swallow our personal pride and delay our political ambitions for the sake of country and put in front those most likely to ensure that we dismiss Mugabe and his coterie of thieves from power. Let us therefore stop being obsessed with who will lead the coalition but what the coalition will achieve,” he said.
MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora last year told the media that his party was open to the coalition, but will only make a union with a few selected “relevant” partners and not everyone.
Unlike MDC-T, MDC-N is of the opinion that the coalition should include every political party regardless of size and support.
There are currently more than 40 opposition political parties in Zimbabwe that have shown interest in the coalition, such that others are already joint and operating under the banner of Coalition of Democrats (CODE) and National Electoral Reforms Agenda (NERA).
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Tendai Biti has however made a passionate plea to bigger political parties to dump their “big brother” mentality, adding that time was running out for opposition parties to form the coalition.
A grand coalition is seen as the only weapon that can help defeat President Mugabe who has led the country since April 1980.
The power of grand coalitions was witnessed last month when Adama Barrow led a coalition of more than eight opposition political parties to defeat President Jammeh in the Gambia’s Presidential election.
The candle is slowly burning out for the opposition parties, as they failed to utilise the opportunity granted them by the just ended Bikita West by-election.
Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) president Joice Mujuru had called on all opposition parties to urge their supporters to vote for the (ZimPF candidate, but the call did not receive any takers.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai who had been invited to address at a ZimPF campaign rally made a no-show at the event.