HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsBeware of the Kenyan syndrome!

Beware of the Kenyan syndrome!


FOR close to three months, political parties opposed to President Robert Mugabe have been meeting secretly in a bid to come up with a grand coalition to end the autocratic rule of the veteran leader and his Zanu PF party in the July 31 elections.

NewsDay Editorial

The main parties — the MDC-T, MDC, Zapu, Zanu Ndonga and MKD — have so far failed to forge a formidable coalition to tackle Mugabe and Zanu PF. It’s sad for the Zimbabwe body politic that two loose coalitions have emerged from the failed negotiations.

MDC leader Welshman Ncube and Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa last week entered into a pact, while Tsvangirai of the MDC-T, MKD head Simba Makoni and Zanu Ndonga boss Reketayi Semwayo formed their own coalition.

Differences on who to lead the grand coalition and how to share the spoils of conquest after attaining victory on July 31 were the main reasons why the political parties failed to come to an agreement.

Announcing the MDC-T, MKD and Zanu Ndonga alliance in Harare on Monday, Makoni said: “The leaders of the five political parties have been in consultation since the time we issued a joint statement co-signed by the five leaders.

The reality is that the five parties have been in consultation for the past two-and-a-half months.

“We have continued to discuss not only the Constitutional Court ruling and the Sadc Extraordinary summit, but we were hoping to be five at this table today and this is why we conclude this statement by maintaining our willingness and readiness to work with others, including Professor Welshman Ncube.”

It’s strange how the parties opposed to Mugabe and Zanu PF failed to draw lessons from some countries in Africa that if you want to dislodge a long-time dictatorship, you need to close ranks and fight as a united front.

Most opposition parties sprung in the 1990s, but have found it extremely difficult to dislodge despots because they are fragmented.

The Kenyan syndrome of late 1998 comes to mind. The fragmented opposition polled more votes combined than the ruling party. It took the opposition four more years to unite and win over a party that had ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1963.

Our political parties should stop bickering among themselves and be united to confront Mugabe and Zanu PF in the month-end polls.

There is absolutely no point in being disunited over petty issues and inflated egos while the tyrants and dictators sit pretty and exploit that division.

Unity of opposition parties in our country is key to defeating leaders who have overstayed their time in office.
Our democratic future and political stability lies in a strong and united opposition!

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