Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Opposition coalition shaping up

By Gorden Moyo

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is committed in working with other opposition political parties in building a strong pre-election coalition in Zimbabwe.

Gorden Moyo
Gorden Moyo

Presently, opposition is heavily fragmented, factionalised and factoralised, hence too enfeebled to successfully mount a serious challenge against Zanu PF hegemony.

There is no single opposition party that can singularly upstage the incumbent in Zimbabwe at the moment.

The current state of the opposition has had an adverse impact on the electorate.

People have increasingly become apathetic and disillusioned by the failure of the opposition to deliver them from their tormentor President Robert Mugabe and his ruining party Zanu PF.

That is why we in the PDP are leading the chorus on coalition formation, leadership renewal and ideas-based politics.

We believe that through a coalition, opposition political parties can appeal to a broader constituency beyond our individual bases and thereby mitigate the possibility of splitting the opposition vote to Zanu PF’s benefit.

The envisaged coalition will provide the electorate with the renewed sense that change is possible and thus encourage opposition sympathisers to vote accordingly.

In line with our convention resolution on coalition-building, the party has assigned its vice-president Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and the secretary for international relations, Willias Madzimure to make contacts with all progressive opposition  political parties and political formations in the country.

Their mandate is to explore areas of convergence in terms of values, principles, ideology, policies and political objectives.

Already, initial contact has been made with various political formations such as Zapu, NCA, People First, Zunde and MDC.

Collectively, these parties represent a rich tapestry of liberation credentials, democratic values, cerebral and thought leadership.

As PDP, we don’t want an office-seeking or office-oriented coalition.

We want a policy-driven coalition formation. It is for this reason that we dispatched a team of technocrats led by one of our policy advisors, Professor Philani Moyo, who is based at Fort Hare  University in South Africa, together with our former director general Toendepi Shonhe to go and study the political coalitions of Kenya, Senegal and Mauritius.

They will give us their findings at the end of October. Their report will enable us to understand our own context, dynamics and nuances.

We want a coalition that will not only lead to the leadership turnover come the next election, but also transform the state institutions for the better of all Zimbabweans.

Our economic blueprint — the Holistic Programme for Transformation (Hope) which will be launched in Bulawayo on October 7, has striking parallels with the People First Build manifesto.

We hope other parties will also produce their own economic blueprints to give the envisaged coalition a wide choice of ideas to craft a consensus national development plan in the post Zan PF era.

As PDP, we shall be participating in the church and civil society-led initiative of the National Convergence Platform (NCP) pencilled for the end of this month.

We respect the organisers of this platform. We are therefore calling upon all our colleagues in the opposition realm to respect the platform. No single party or entity should seek to hijack the platform for grandstanding purposes and or for parochial reasons.

We hope all opposition political players will emerge from the NCP more convinced of the need for a grand coalition.

We hope that after the NCP, all opposition parties will stop criticising each other in public.

We hope after the NCP, all opposition parties that have taken each other to Zanu PF courts will have all those cases withdrawn and settled outside the interference of politicised courts.

We hope the NCP will act as a glue for the opposition without labels of being large or small, technocratic or lay and so forth.

To demonstrate our commitment to coalitional approach, the constitution of PDP states that its president is not necessarily the presidential candidate in the  national elections.

This is despite the fact that the current president Tendai Biti is an able leader with an impeccable record as a finance minister in the GNU.

In fact, Biti was voted the best Finance minister in Africa in 2012.

He is also a skilled negotiator whose contribution to the GPA is incontrovertible, although the implementation of that document was pathetic.

As a learned lawyer and an experienced finance man, Biti would be more than qualified to be on the steering wheel of the coalition.

Yet, PDP is ready to have the leader of the coalition come from any of the coalition partners, including its own.

The question for PDP is not that of who the leader will be, but what values bind us together to belong together.

We don’t believe in Bigmanism which has destroyed Africa, including Zimbabwe, but we believe in shared leadership. This should be the new culture of politics in Zimbabwe.

All our members and all our structures are called upon to get hard on work. Let’s all go out and preach the PDP message of Hope.

Moyo is the PDP secretary general. He delivered this speech at the PDP Manicaland Provincial Council meeting on Saturday.