United opposition opposed

Political party leaders have expressed mixed feelings over suggestions by MDC-N Secretary for Legal Affairs David Coltart that they rally behind one candidate to stand against President Robert Mugabe in the next presidential election.

Coltart, who is also the Senator for Khumalo constituency, recently told The Zimbabwean that political parties should avoid dividing votes like they did in 2008 by fielding one candidate for the presidential election.

But MDC-N Deputy spokesperson, Kurauwone Chihwai, said the strategy had failed before and could not be entertained again. He said they had come up with that idea in the 2008 elections but Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the larger formation of the MDC, had turned down the offer, opting to go it alone. “The MDC led by Tsvangirai shot down the idea when we wanted him to stand as the candidate. We cannot waste our time negotiating with them this time around. We are not interested,” he said.

Chihwai said his party had come up with strategic positions that would enable the party’s candidate to stand against anybody and win the presidential vote. “We are not renegotiating because we can’t work together. People think that we should be working around propelling Tsvangirai. We don’t believe that Tsvangirai is a good leader, but we do believe that we have people in our party who are capable of colliding against anyone in the presidential race,” he said.

Interestingly, Chihwayi and Coltart belong to the same party. ZAPU President, Dumiso Dabengwa, said Coltart was off the mark to believe that the struggle in the country was about removing Mugabe.

“Our position as ZAPU is that our effort is changing and democratizing the system in Zimbabwe. Our target is to change the system and not to remove Mugabe,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Mavambo Kusile Dawn President, Simba Makoni. He said people should not rally against somebody but rather for somebody or something.

“I am not motivated by negatives, but am driven by positive ambitions. We rally behind what we are for and not against,” he said.

Makoni, however, said he would support the idea of one presidential candidate if the focus was not on removing Mugabe but on mobilizing positive change across the political divide.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has so far presented the toughest challenge to President Mugabe’s rule since independence in 1980, narrowly won the presidential race in the March 2008 elections, but fell agonizingly short of the 50 percent plus one majority required to form a government.

The near miss was largely blamed on the Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation, which took a considerable number of votes, that could have been enough to earn Tsvangirai an outright victory.

Post published in: News

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