ADDRESSING a Press conference recently to announce his party’s position regarding how the presidential candidate to represent the opposition parties in the 2018 election, Professor Welshman Ncube, leader of the MDC, is reported to have said: “The coalition has to agree on who will lead it based on the person’s support base, his or her capacity to unite the coalition members and someone who agrees to work within the context of the coalition.”
By Kennedy Kaitano,Our Reader
All three are important aspects to be considered in selecting the candidate. However, the capacity to unite coalition members and agreeing to work within the context of the coalition are very debatable, and the opposition parties involved may spend a lot of time trying to justify things which are very difficult to justify.
Most, if not all, of the opposition parties involved have split at some point: The MDC-T has had some of its leaders leaving the original MDC; Ncube has had his colleagues leave the party several times; Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma failed to work together; Dr Simba Makoni had problems with his party members and some of them have left. On the other hand, while MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has lost some of his team, a good number of them have come back to the fold — does that make him a unifier?
Agreeing to work within the context of the coalition is also a difficult aspect to measure as there is no past to measure the candidates against.
The person’s support base therefore remains the only measurable method that could be employed to choose the candidate. I have argued along the same lines, and am excited that Ncube and I share the same line of thinking on that one. My major argument remains that not every member of the parties involved in the coalition will vote for a candidate not from their choice party. We will lose the greatest number of votes if the candidate whose party commands most support is sidelined, decreasing the chances of removing President Robert Mugabe.
I, therefore, dismiss as the political joke of the year the resolution by Biti’s party that they will present him as a candidate for the coalition when it comes to choosing the presidential candidate. I advise Biti and his party to be serious about politics, otherwise no one will ever take them seriously. Firstly, they went all over the country endorsing Joice Mujuru as the best person to lead the coalition, and all of a sudden they change positions. I hope they open their eyes widely to the political reality.