THE opposition MDC-T has said it is ready to go it alone in next year’s harmonised elections if its intended coalition partners develop cold feet, in the latest episode of opposition parties giving conflicting statements about the formation of an alliance to face off with President Robert Mugabe.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Addressing MDC-T supporters on Sunday in Kuwadzana, MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora said if the much-anticipated coalition continues to be elusive, they will go it alone.
“When we talk about unity, we want genuine unity,” he said.
“There are some who were backbiting just to spoil the unity of the people of Zimbabwe.
“(MDC-T leader) Morgan Tsvangirai wants unity of all people in Zimbabwe and he has a place for every person, but there are those who don’t want and Tsvangirai is saying ‘if you don’t want, I can go it alone’.
“That is if they (other opposition parties) don’t want, but we are saying we want people to unite.”
Tsvangirai has so far signed memoranda of understanding with Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP), MDC and Transform Zimbabwe.
He declared that by July 31, opposition parties involved in coalition talks would have ironed out their differences before going on the campaign trail.
While most parties have given the thumbs-up to the alliance, they continue issuing conflicting signals, with Mujuru and Tsvangirai said to be at odds about the coalition, with the former reportedly preferring a larger coalition, while the latter wants something lean.
NPP spokesperson, Gift Nyandoro yesterday said the party was likely to sign another coalition with another party today, further evidence of the gulf in the approach to the broader coalition.
Last week, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Tendai Biti failed to show up at the signing on ceremony with Mujuru, prompting her to sign a deal with Farai Mbira of the Zimbabwe Union of Democrats, which analysts view as further evidence that the parties were further apart than thought.
Commenting on MDC-T’s remarks, PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said there was no need for panic as yet.
“A coalition is a must. If we are to take this country towards democracy, we need to sit down and not panic,” he said. “Elections are still in the distance and the nomination court has not yet sat, so we cannot talk about going it alone.”
MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi said Mwonzora’s remarks do not apply to them, as they are about to clinch a deal.
“Negotiations between the MDC and the MDC-T are in progress and both parties are conscious of the time factor,” he said.
“The people should expect an election-winning deal soon. The negotiations are very live and progressing well.
“I think Mwonzora was referring to other parties, not the MDC. The deal is still in the oven and a spiced product will be on the table very soon.”
Jacob Ngarivhume, of Transform Zimbabwe, said they were on course and will not be distracted.