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Coalition Leadership, A Make Or Break Question



As coalition talks continue to gather momentum following the signing of memorandum of understanding between Movement for Democratic Change and Joice Mujuru’s National Peoples Party followed by Professor Welshman Ncube of MDC-N, the question of who will lead the alliance in the 2018 elections has not been answered.

Though there is this belief that Morgan Tsvangirai by virtue of leading the biggest opposition movement should lead the coalition, the question of leadership is so delicate that it can make or break the envisaged grand alliance.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka was however diplomatic revealing that a public announcement would be made after all the parties to coalition reach an agreement.

“Discussions are still on-going both with current and potential partners in the form of political parties and other key networks such as churches, war veterans, students and other stakeholders. Suffice to say that the parties that have signed the MOU are at substantive stages of negotiations and once a full agreement is hammered out, a public announcement will be made,” said Tamborinyoka.

Surprisingly from Tamborinyoka’s remarks it appears the coalition is more of other smaller political parties coming to join or endorse the candidature of Morgan Tsvangirai.

In Tamborinyoka’s words, inquiries that have been coming from the people range from requests of the MOUs and whether “Tsvangirai is in talks with this or that other political leader or institution.”

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This could mean that MDC-T is approaching this coalition issue expecting to automatically become the face of it from the onset.

There is also an unwritten expectation that whosoever wishes to join a coalition should come and knock on the MDC-T doors and not vice versa- such a big brother mentality.

Tamborinyoka could not divulge details of the MOUs signed saying they are not at liberty to share specifics adding that negotiations cannot be held in public.

“The facts of the matter are that the two memoranda are just the beginning of a process with both current and potential partners. As things stand, we are not at liberty to talk about specific MOU issues but to comment generally on the process and the output,” said Tamborinyoka.

It got me wondering if this coalition is for the parties or the people of Zimbabwe who are dejected with the prospects of voting without change. If anything the biggest signatories of the MOU should be the people of Zimbabwe who if inspired should go out in large numbers and vote for the coalition.

This is not to downplay the significance of a coalition as we approach 2018 but some discrepancies if not fully attended will threaten the strength of the alliance and should be sorted as we go.

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The only people who can protect and safeguard the interests of the coalition are the people of Zimbabwe who deserve to know whatever is agreed upon. This is a people’s struggle and any defeat at the hands of Zanu PF will continue to hurt the people of Zimbabwe who have since 2000 been waiting for change with disappointment.



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Journalist based in Harare

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