Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zimbabwe opposition rejects post-Mugabe coalition deal-making

By Ed Cropley and Joe Brock | Reuters |

Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Wednesday it had no plans to join factions of the ruling ZANU-PF party to form a national unity coalition after the eventual death of 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

Morgan Tsvangirai vs Emmerson Mnangagwa
Morgan Tsvangirai vs Emmerson Mnangagwa

A Reuters investigation this week revealed that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, favourite to succeed Mugabe, has been looking to build a broad coalition that would kickstart the economy by reintegrating thousands of white farmers booted off their land in the early 2000s.

The report was based on leaks from inside Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation and interviews with top political players, including MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The 63-year-old, who has been Mugabe’s main political rival for the last two decades, told Reuters at the time he had not met Mnangagwa for several years but that he had received overtures about a meeting that were turned down.

In a statement, the MDC said it would never consider joining an administration that was not the product of an election. Zimbabwe’s next vote is next year and Mugabe is running as ZANU-PF’s presidential candidate.

“While stability is important, President Tsvangirai and the MDC have always placed a far higher premium on legitimacy and democracy,” the statement said.

The Reuters story also revealed that senior members of Zimbabwe’s military were starting to swallow their disdain for Tsvangirai, who has never enjoyed their respect because of his background as a union leader rather than a liberation fighter.

The intelligence reports suggested top generals had given Mnangagwa their backing.

Tsvangirai did not deny any contact with military leaders or British ambassador Catriona Laing, who the intelligence reports said favoured a Mnangagwa-led succession, but said post-Mugabe deal-making was not on the agenda.

“President Tsvangirai has not had any meeting with either the British or the military involving this purported deal,” the MDC statement said.

“Any purported deal outside elections and involving diplomats, the military and other such characters will not be legitimate and will not rescue Zimbabweans from their current predicament.”

Mugabe has been Zimbabwe’s only leader since independence from Britain in 1980. Its once promising economy collapsed in the early 2000s after the violent seizure of thousands of white-owned commercial farms by pro-Mugabe gangs.

  • sarah Mahoka

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  • wilbert

    Tsvangirai has “always placed a far much higher premium on legitimacy and democracy”. How can he when he does not even know what they mean!

    This is Morgan Tsvangirai showing he is just a confused individual talking nonsense because he has no clue what he is talking about.

    “The people of Zimbabwe are keen to express themselves in a free, fair and credible election.

    “Any elite pact that seeks to avoid elections will be a betrayal of democracy and the legitimacy that stems from a credible electoral process in which the people freely express themselves.” His spokesman Tamborinyoka says.

    Since when has Tsvangirai shown that he understands or cares about free, fair and credible elections? He was warned the July 2013 elections will not be free and fair with no reforms in place and he still took part in those elections regardless. His MDC Alliance is gearing itself up to contest next year’s elections knowing fully well not even one reform has been implemented. Obert Gutu was boasting of the party’s new Win In Rigged Election (WIRE) strategies; proof they know elections will be rigged but they will contest regardless.

    Of course, we know the real reason Tsvangirai & co. are contesting flawed elections is for the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away, the bribe to entice the opposition to contest the elections and thus give the flawed process some modicum of credibility.

    Towards the end of the last GNU, it was none other than MDC leaders who wanted it life extended.

    Tsvangirai is “a flawed and indecisive character” former USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Chris Dell, said of the man. However, when it comes to having another chance on the gravy train, Tsvangirai will be very decisive – he will accept Mnangagwa offer even if he will be nothing more than a tea-boy with a fancy title of Prime Minister.

    It is clear that Zanu PF is gearing to rig next year’s elections and the reason Mnangagwa wants to postpone the elections and form another GNU is fear. He knows that rigging the elections will be the easy bit but if the world reject the process as the sham, it is; Zanu PF will be in deep, deep trouble. Some form of GNU will be necessary but as the party that has just rigged the elections, Zanu PF will not be asked to play any part in that. So, it makes sense for Zanu PF to pre-empt the election and go into the GNU of its own making.

    Yes, there is absolutely no point in holding elections with no reforms in place to ensure they are free and fair. The country will need a GNU of some sort to implement the reforms and prepare for free and fair elections. What the country does not need is to have Zanu PF and/or MDC leaders messing around in that GNU.

    Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess because of four decades of failed leadership, Zanu PF and MDC leaders are the failed leaders. They are the problem and therefore they cannot be the solution too!