Tsvangirai courts Biti, Mangoma

OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has started engaging his former lieutenants People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti and Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe front-man Elton Mangoma, as plans for the proposed grand coalition gather momentum.


Addressing journalists at his party headquarters in Harare last Friday, Tsvangirai said the two former MDC-T top officials were not being roped in for their intellectual prowess, as was the general sentiment in opposition circles, but to strengthen the coalition efforts to enable the opposition to confront Zanu PF as a unit in the 2018 elections.

“We are magnanimous. We will work with Mangoma and Biti, not on the basis of capacity, but the need to unite people of Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai said.


“Politics is about influence — how many people believe in you — and then we begin to talk. We will leave room for discussions. Fragmentation is not the solution, unity is the issue,” he said without disclosing the nuts and bolts of the talks.

Biti and Mangoma served as MDC-T secretary-general and deputy treasurer-general, respectively, before they broke ranks with Tsvangirai in 2014 to form their own separate parties.

The duo accused Tsvangirai of being a dictator and “dismally failing” to dislodge President Robert Mugabe in three successive presidential elections.

On the other hand, in what could be seen as a major dent in uniting the opposition, Tsvangirai dismissed reports his party had engaged Mujuru’s yet-to-be-officially launched People First party, which he said only existed on paper.

“It is two years to the next elections. Coalitions are formed by political parties as institutions. So far, the media has been referring to People
First,” he said.

“I don’t know whether the party has been formed. They talk about it at individual level and people have made their own initiatives.

“Certainly, there are no coalition talks (with Mujuru) I am aware of. People wish the opposition to coalesce and work together. When the time comes, perhaps it will dawn on all political parties to have such, but for now, there are no talks. We will not fight any colleague in the opposition because we need to work together as a team.”

Tsvangirai said he had no doubt opposition parties would push for a coalition ahead of the next election, adding there was no need for a big brother attitude.

“What a beauty it will be to have two parties going for an election and that is Zanu PF versus the rest of us, and then people will have a choice and I have no doubt it will be an opposition to have that desires for change . . . people must regroup. People accuse us of being ‘big brother’, we don’t do that,” he said.

Contacted for comment yesterday, both Mangoma and Biti said they were ready for coalition talks with Tsvangirai on condition the MDC-T leader does not see himself as “the alpha and omega” of Zimbabwean politics.

“We have always said we will work with anyone with whom we have the same aspirations and beliefs,” Mangoma said.

“I put in writing issues I felt he (Tsvangirai) had to resolve and he thought otherwise. If he is now thinking in that way, Zimbabwe will make progress.

“We differ where he thinks he is the alpha and omega of Zimbabwean politics. His place for fighting for democracy will be respected if he doesn’t view himself as such.”

PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume said his party was willing to partner with anyone on the side of democracy.

“We are open to a coalition with every well-meaning Zimbabwean to confront the myriad of challenges affecting the country. We need a solution, we need to find each other, but on terms that are clear,” he said.

Political analysts, however, warned that it was highly unlikely that Tsvangirai would reach an understanding with the two, given the acrimonious manner in which they parted ways.

“Anything in politics is possible, nothing can be ruled out. It depends on issues at hand and interests of those in the discussion,” university lecturer Eldred Masunungure said.

“Nonetheless, I would say even though that may be possible, I think it is improbable, as the things that led to their separation are still there, unless they have been resolved behind closed doors.

“I would rate it (a coalition) as low, unless they iron out their differences, which are still fresh.”

Another analyst, Blessing Vava, said opposition leaders should put aside their egos for this to be reality.

“We are tired of such stories. They should act, not just cheap talk. And I do not foresee that happening because of the deep-rooted personality differences and the inflated egos of these opposition leaders,” he said.

“They first need to convince themselves individually before they start discussions among themselves.”

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  1. A grand coalition is the only way for opposition democratic forces to approach elections 2018,otherwise individually they will not dislodge ZPF.It is now time to sit down, without any pre-conditions, and come up with pre and post election modalities for such a coalition.

    1. Alheit-nemoyowese

      But before coming Mangoma must remember Chamisa from a party that claims to stand for human rights and equality of all deployed as its most vocal cheerleaders to mock Elton Mangoma’s disability as if it were some self-inflicted decoration.

    2. Alheit-nemoyowese

      Chamisa treated Biti the same way that we are now being told that Biti is HIV-positive, and that somehow this is somewhat relevant to whatever issues might be at hand and will die soon.

    3. This is just a myth pedaled by people who have run out of ideas! Tsvangirai, Biti, Mangoma, Ncube, etc were all in the same team before and the accomplished nothing of substance because they are corrupt and incompetent. Getting them to unite in a coalition will not change the fact that they are still corrupt and incompetent!

      Those pedaling this coalition myth are showing themselves for just how shallow they are!

      1. Be a ‘winsy bitsy’ more charitable Wilbert…Must say you raise interesting points though!


    1. If you try something and it fails you can try again a second time and if you still get the same result it is time to try something else! Zimbabweans have knack for recycling the same corrupt and incompetent leaders for 15 years and even 36 years and still get the same disappointing results!

      United we stand and divided we fall; what an idiotic excuse for recycling the same breathtakingly incompetent and corrupt leaders!

      1. Wilbert jump in and we will see if you are electable. The ones that have given themselves are the same ones so what do you want us to do….if you fail in school and repeat and fail do you fire the teachers or you move to another school where you still find teachers? The ruling party has the same faces since the 70s for noone else wants to take over for fear or else, opposition we know has bee the late Sithole, Muzorewa, Tekere then the live ones who are clamoring for a grand coalition. Saka who do we go for as these are the ones available?

      2. U wrong Mr Mukonori this team never failed because of them presidential election results were withheld for more than a month where were u


  4. But how can you trust people like Biti and Mangoma. This coalition, if it is to go to an election – forget it. Zanu PF can never be beaten in election in Zimbabwe – they control everything and have the power to exercise their corruption systems any time. How about this – Zanu PF already has the results for the 2018 election – they have them in four types and will select the result to announce on the day when they will have aligned with the presenting situation. They have won overwhelmingly. Zimbabwe’s problem can never be solved through an election – not even if they bring all the chickens and monkeys and elephants together – they won’t win – not when Zanu PF is in contention.

    1. Biggie Taapatsi

      Clement, don’t have such a defeatist attitude. Nothing is impossible in politics

    2. you dont have a winning formula you guys. kutandadza nguva kuteya nzou neriva kwamuri kuita. you think you are going to win an election in 2018. just forget about it and map a wayforward so that your families may have something to eat.

  5. This would make sense if it were not ‘just a feelgood tale’…Of course Mangoma for all his mistakes DOES have a point here. Tsvangirai must disabuse himself of the notion that he is the ‘alpha and omega’…Methinks this will be easier said than done. You see Mr. Tsvangirai is convinced HE is the opposition…Forming government is another issue..for him it is enough that HE is the opposition!



  7. seek the Lord and live guys.

  8. Chamisa wait a seyi….he is a brilliant future ..idiots

  9. tsvangirai must not make a mistake of reuniting with biti and anamangoma they are fools with nothing to put on the table.they are only after enriching themselves.Tsvangira must enter into an alliance with Mujuru bcoz they know zanu pf methods of cheating and she enjoy rural support which mdc does not have

  10. May Zanu PF be forever young.Amen.

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