HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsGrand coalition false-starts betray calibre of politicians in opposition

Grand coalition false-starts betray calibre of politicians in opposition


IT is very sad that the slow pace and confusion that has come to characterise the mooted grand coalition continues to pan out with the passage of every week.

guest column: Learnmore Zuze

To think that it’s just over five months to a possible presidential election and we have an opposition that has not yet started the actual work is discouraging to Zimbabweans, to say the least.

The opposition, whether united or fragmented, still has a mountain to climb to unseat Zanu PF.

The idea of a grand coalition became a rallying point early this year, with the majority of Zimbabweans pinning their hopes on a group of men and women in opposition to challenge the incumbent system that has palpably failed to shift the economic fortunes of a crisis-weary nation.

Zimbabweans, inactive and timid they may be, are not blind to the trail of destruction that has defined Zanu PF rule.

It is in this light that talk of a grand coalition gained traction and, to many, the idea represented the end of the incumbent system.

However, events obtaining on the ground seem to point to another heartache for the people of Zimbabwe.

It would appear there is some spirit that will not allow Zimbabwe to surge forward.

Virtually anything that tries to untangle this poor Southern African nation, which has seen all manner of hardships for close to two decades, faces some kind of sabotage.

It is also no wonder that there is ceaseless talk of some politicians in opposition being labelled functionaries of the incumbent system.

We have, in Zimbabwe, an opposition that cannot comprehend the urgency of the herculean task at hand.

Zanu PF may be disoriented and faction-torn at the moment, but that does not, in the slightest, take away its election-winning potency whether by fair or foul means.

It is well-oiled.

In fact, Zanu PF has entrenched its rule. Its fingers are found literally in every institution, making it not just a party, but a system.

It is almost impossible to destroy this system from outside.

This task needs not be made more difficult.

Zanu PF will not go down without a fight whichever way one looks at it. The coming election will, very much like others, take place in a fear-laden environment hostile to free speech and open campaigning.

Many will be maimed.

The fear factor has always stalked Zimbabwean elections especially in rural areas. Most of the rural people have had fear struck into their hearts that any engagement in political activities on behalf of the opposition would result in certain death.

The tragedy is that over 70% of the voting population is in these rural areas and they are engulfed by this blanket of fear.

Now, real concrete strategies should and ought to be devised by the opposition to destroy the rural fear factor.

A lot of work needs to be done in the area of at least minimising the chicanery that defines voting in Zimbabwe.

But what do we have happening?

We have the men and women on whom the nation is pinning its hopes bickering and wandering in a pool of confusion.

Zimbabwe hardly has a second to waste. The country’s need to get back on the path to recovery is overwhelming and urgent.

This is hardly the time for petty tiffs and oversized egos.

It was disturbing to hear that National People’s Party (NPP) leader, Joice Mujuru has expressed disinterest in an alliance dubbed MDC Alliance. There is obviously talk and thoughts of “being swallowed”.

This kind of thinking is barely what Zimbabweans need.

What is in a name to begin with?

Opposition politicians are missing the ultimate point and are surely vindicating many, who have long argued that personal interests have taken precedence over national interests.

An alliance is simply that: an alliance. It does not assume permanency, but is aimed at a particular objective. That NPP would be concerned about this betrays the very nature of its leaders.

They are thinking power and positions.

There are a number of people in the opposition, who have reluctantly accepted Mujuru in spite of her past Zanu PF association.

Her daily demands on what the coalition should be like will only serve to alienate her more.

In fact, the NPP should firmly grasp that Tsvangirai’s party has single-handedly defeated Zanu PF at one time and calls for a grand coalition are to reinforce like-minded Zimbabweans, not that the objective cannot be achieved without NPP.

Zimbabweans are growing weary with talk of a grand coalition that can never seem to materialise. It is very natural that Zimbabweans should be disappointed with the nature of politicians in opposition and the tortoise pace of negotiations.

It follows, therefore, that any analyst can tell that, unless there is a meaningful change in attitude among opposition politicians, a Zanu PF victory next year is likely.
Zanu PF currently enjoys the power of incumbency, which the opposition does not have.

Like has been said before, the opposition can only mount a meaningful challenge to Zanu PF the sooner they drop messianic tendencies and put the interests of the nation ahead.

Learnmore Zuze is a law officer and writes in his own capacity. E-mail: lastawa77@gmail.com

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