Ncube and Dr. Mujuru raise pertinent points regarding opposition coalition


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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  1. wilbert

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