Takunda Maodza Assistant News Editor
Removing President Mugabe from office cannot be an economic policy issue around which political parties can form a coalition, Professor Lovemore Madhuku has said. In an interview last week, Professor Madhuku said his National Constitutional Assembly would not be part to any such coalition, particularly one involving MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, whom he described as a failure.
He was reacting to a recent plea by Mr Tsvangirai for opposition political parties to rally around him if they hope to dislodge President Mugabe and zanu-pf from power.
The remarks by Prof Madhuku follow similar remarks recently by Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Mr Raymond Majongwe that he would not entertain MDC-T’s machinations for illegal regime change as President Mugabe was constitutionally-elected.
Mr Tendai Biti’s Renewal Team also challenged Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership credentials.
Prof Madhuku said forming a coalition under Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership was like going back a 100 years as he had been part of the inclusive Government, but failed to prove his worth.
“As the NCA, we are clearly and unequivocally running away from that kind of politics. Morgan Tsvangirai was part of the inclusive Government where he did nothing and he is currently busy talking about terminal benefits,” said Prof Madhuku.
He added: “We do not accept the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai. He has done his part and if that coalition is only about removing Mugabe, we cannot be part of it. Removing Mugabe is not an economic policy. We can only be part of a coalition that ensures that the welfare of our people is improved by an economic policy.”
Prof Madhuku said the NCA was part of the MDC from its formation in 1999, but broke ranks after getting disillusioned with Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership.
He said the NCA was now a political party in its own right and seeks to win the hearts of the electorate.
“Our business is to win the electorate’s heart and so this philosophy of coming together to remove Mugabe has been our business from the start. We have always been MDC but were dissatisfied with the MDC under Tsvangirai. Any grand coalition involving Tsvangirai would be like going 100 years back into history,” said Prof Madhuku.
Across town, Renewal Team spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume said it was utopian for Mr Tsvangirai to contemplate the formation of a coalition under his leadership.
“He should come with an open mind otherwise he is leading himself to nowhere,” said Mr Mafume.
He went on to outline what he said were the credentials of a potential candidate for the leadership of such a coalition, should it materialise.
“We were the first to come up with the idea of forming a grand coalition. We have maintained that let us form a coalition but let us first agree on who leads it,” said Mr Mafume.
He said for one to qualify for the leadership position, the person must be principled, have fresh ideas and a broad appeal not only among his followers.
The MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube said it would not be part of any efforts to propel Mr Tsvangirai to the leadership of the country, dismissing him as selfish and not clean for the throne.
“We agree to the idea of a coalition and our door is still open to like-minded democrats or political organisations,” said the party’s spokesperson, Mr Kurauone Chihwayi. “We are talking about non-violent political parties, non-corrupt political parties whose leaders do not have bed hopping credentials.
“If Tsvangirai thinks we should support him to get into power, then he should rule us out of those people who believe he is the face of opposition in this country. He should not expect us to knock on his door. We say no, thank you.”
Addressing his supporters in Binga and Hwange last week, Mr Tsvangirai implored opposition political parties to join hands with him to dislodge Zanu-PF from power.
“All progressive forces must come together and remove the Mugabe regime,” he said. “Tinozviziva kuti kune vanoumbimbindoga who want to be presidents of small political parties. I will rather be president of the whole movement poised to remove Zanu-PF than of a small party.”