OPPOSITION parties that are set to form a coalition ahead of next year’s elections yesterday said they are not under any pressure amid surveys and analyses showing they might lose the polls.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
A local think-tank, Mass Public Opinion Institute, working with Afrobarometer, predicted a Zanu PF landslide win.
Former MDC-T director-general Toendepi Shonhe weighed in, saying the envisaged coalition would likely not produce the intended results.
The findings have stirred debate with many political activists and analysts urging the political players to take the analyses seriously and act accordingly or risk sinking.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said although they were taking the advice seriously, they were not pressing panic buttons.
“For starters, it has never been our proposition that a grand coalition on its own is the panacea to the opposition winning the elections next year,” he said.
“That has never been our argument. Our position has always been that there is need for a cocktail of measures to confront the Zanu PF regime in the 2018 elections, chief among which is the formation of a coalition of opposition political parties coupled with the adoption of key electoral reforms.”
He said the MDC-T had always been a social democratic political party that leaned on the left of centre in terms of political ideology.
Gutu said while they agreed with Shonhe that the opposition had a lot of work to do in order to win the elections next year, they totally disagreed with him when he rubbished the effectiveness and importance of a strong grand political coalition.
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said they surely needed to up their game.
“They are simply pointing out the danger of complacency. As opposition, we need to work on issues that we have to work on. The issue is that we need to capitalise more on the mistakes of the ruling party and just not think that because government is performing badly, it automatically translates to us winning,” he said.
MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said they were not panicking at all over the predictions.
“We have noted all the concerns raised by our supporters and members. We don’t lose sleep because of owls that are making noise in the mountain. We are too strong to be frightened by some academic work and prophets from the moon.
We take instructions and advice from the people of Zimbabwe. Zanu PF can take some foolish advice at their own peril.”
Joice Mujuru’s spokesperson Gift Nyandoro was unavailable despite promising earlier to issue a comment on the findings.
Veteran politician Margaret Dongo said she totally agreed with some of the findings, especially concerning the anticipated coalition.
“It is not a coalition emanating from the grassroots, but an idea of people who want to maintain power and are a busy trading persons, that’s their supporters, in an envelope (sic). We need a coalition initiated by the people on the ground, the voters themselves. A coalition should not be viewed as a hiding nest for the corrupt and looters. In fact, Zimbabweans are not clear yet about a coalition.”