THE proposed opposition coalition meant to provide a strong challenge to President Robert Mugabe’s bid for another term of office next year will make it easier for Zanu PF to win the watershed poll, the 93-year-old leader said yesterday.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA/ KENNETH NYANGANI
Addressing thousands of party supporters at a youth interface rally in the eastern border town of Mutare, Mugabe warned warring party leaders against dividing the youth league.
“Now we hear the opposition wants to form a coalition. If they come together as is proposed it will make it easier for us to deal with them. It will just be one blow and they are done. We will not need to devise strategies to deal with Mujuru (Joice, former Vice President and National People’s Party leader) or other parties.
“It’s just one blow and they are down,” Mugabe said, sending his party supporters into a frenzy.
Zimbabwean opposition parties are frantically working on the possibility of a grand coalition that is set to provide a single candidate to face-off with Mugabe who has already been endorsed as his party’s presidential candidate for the umpteenth time.
Mugabe, already the world’s oldest head of State, will contest the polls expected in the second half of next year at the age of 94.
However, there are indications of discord over who should lead the opposition coalition with Mujuru having declared her willingness to front the alliance while MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, a veteran of opposition politics and seen by many as an automatic choice, is also eyeing the position.
Supporters from both Mujuru and Tsvangirai’s camps are already heckling over the matter in the process jeopardising the possibility of the grand coalition.
Zanu PF has not been spared by the phenomenon of internal dissonance, with senior leaders at each other’s throats over the choice of Mugabe’s possible successor.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly linked to one faction while another known as G40 which comprises Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and party political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere among others has been “shopping” for a leader.
While in the past the G40 faction has been pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over from her husband, Moyo recently threw in Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi’s name as a possible successor to Mugabe.
Mugabe acknowledged the internal power struggles, but sought to find solace in the unity shown by the youth league.
“I am happy with the unity shown by the youth league. I have not seen the same sense of unity within the senior leadership. They are fighting for positions and there are indications that it has taken a tribal angle.
“You can go on and fight. We are watching and wondering what is happening, but I do not want you to disturb the unity in the youth league. (Kudzanai) Chipanga (Zanu PF politburo secretary for youth), I hope you have set yourself to walk in our footsteps.
“You must remain principled and refuse to be used. We know they are trying and offering money as well as cars.
Never accept that because if you do, the people who are below you will be watching,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe yesterday took a cue from Chipanga, who also threw barbs at the proposed coalition and especially Tsvangirai.
“Tsvangirai has already admitted defeat. If Tsvangirai has admitted that Mugabe has already won, who will dispute that?” Chipanga quipped.