Ncube and Dr. Mujuru raise pertinent points regarding opposition coalition

Editor,

I have contributed several opinion pieces on the highly-anticipated coalition of Zimbabwe’s opposition political parties in the 2018 elections, but feel I may wind up my contributions to take into account some recent contributions which makes my previous arguments clearer.

Towards the end of 2016, Professor Ncube pointed out the things that needed to be considered in selecting the Presidential candidate to represent the opposition. His major point was that the party with the biggest following had to be the party to nominate a presidential candidate. This tallies with my earlier argument.
And this year, embattled Dr. Joyce Mujuru said it was only necessary for the opposition to present one candidate only for the Presidential election, but parties should be allowed to contest each other in parliamentary and council elections – a point that I had thought about but had not written about. 

Both Professor Ncube and Dr. Mujuru’s positions are well thought out. In the case of Professor Ncube’s MDC, politics is about numbers, and the party with the greatest support base obviously represents the majority aspirations. Also, while the majority Zimbabweans opposed to Mugabe will support the candidate agreed on by the parties, there are a few who will not vote for a candidate who is not nominated from their party because of various reasons, including personal hatred. Proportionally, therefore, the coalition will lose more votes from voters who dislike candidates from a party not their own, hence the fewer votes wasted the better the chances.
Dr. Mujuru’s point becomes very handy if we look back at 2008 when the MDC led then by Professor Arthur Mutambara and the MDC-T failed to agree on a coalition because they could not agree on how to share the parliamentary seats. Tendai Biti later revealed that the coalition failed because of differences over 2 seats. There will be bigger disagreements when more than ten political parties are involved. I strongly buy Dr. Mujuru’s idea for parties to be able to field candidates separately and only in constituencies where certain parties can reach consensus, the parties involved agree not to contest each other. This gives each party the opportunity to demonstrate its strength at a given time.

There should be a prior agreement though that cabinet posts will be shared the parties depending on their parliamentary seats and performance.
In my previous posts, I refrained from suggesting who should be the presidential candidate in the coalition if it eventuates. I had deliberately done so as I wanted the political leaders to think on their own which of the opposition parties should provide the candidate, but having been challenged by some of my readers to name which party I think has the biggest support base, I will take the position of many analysts who think the MDC-T is the biggest of them.
If what we want as Zimbabweans is to remove the dictator Mugabe, we must vote for the person with the greatest chance of beating him in an election.
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Post published in: Featured
  • wilbert

    @ Kaitano

    This talk of opposition coalition is just a waste of time! Did Tsvangirai lose the 2013 elections because the opposition vote was divided? No! He lost because Mugabe blatantly rigged the elections.

    Which part of “Zanu PF rigs elections!” are you failing to understand?

    “Towards the end of 2016, Professor Ncube pointed out the things that needed to be considered in selecting the Presidential candidate to represent the opposition. His major point was that the party with the biggest following had to be the party to nominate a presidential candidate. This tallies with my earlier argument,” you say, for example.

    How would that help stop Zanu PF rigging the next elections again?

    We need to stop people like Tsvangirai contesting flawed elections and then complaining afterwards that “Mugabe stole the vote!” as he has done countless times in the past. By participating these people give the elections a veneer of democratic credibility. Mugabe never tires of boasting that he won 62% of the popular vote in 2013 and will never admit to getting even one vote from the hooded supporters we will saw being bussed from one polling station to the next casting multiple votes.

    Tsvangirai and his MDC friends sold-out during the GNU by failing to implement even one democratic reform. They take part in these flawed elections just to win the few seats Zanu PF throws away to entice opposition parties to contest. How long are we going to allow these opposition politicians sell-out on our right to free and fair elections?

    Zanu PF detractors did a good job in managing to make Tsvangirai forget about implementing any reforms for five years of the GNU by making him and his MDC friends they will win the 2013 elections “regardless of all Zanu PF’s vote rigging shenanigans,” as Tsvangirai later admitted. This time the detractors are pushing the formation of the grand coalition as the game changer to defeat the Zanu PF vote rigging juggernaut. Only fools will believe that nonsense!

    The issue here is about making sure election are free and fair; keep your eyes on the ball and not be distracted by a fly – opposition coalition!