MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s decision, albeit under pressure, to meet various party structures in the Matabeleland region to explain the nature of the MDC Alliance before its official launch in Bulawayo next month is a welcome move as it will help clear any suspicion or mystery surrounding the project and engender confidence in the opposition structures.
This is all the more essential in light of the fact that Tsvangirai has been endorsed as the leader of a coalition of seven opposition parties all gunning to remove President Robert Mugabe from power through the ballot during the watershed 2018 elections.
This will also facilitate the healing process within the
MDC-T following the brutal attack on senior party officials Thokozani Khupe, Abednico Bhebhe and Lovemore Moyo, among others, by party youths recently. This will also be critical in restoring trust in Tsvangirai as party leader after the youths who attacked these officials were said to have accused them of plotting against him.
Although Khupe has argued that the MDC-T is strong enough to win on its own in Matabeleland, still an alliance is critical because they have to look at the bigger picture, which is about the whole of Zimbabwe and not just one province. The game of numbers is what is critical in an election and if an alliance with others will increase the numbers, then it makes sense to go for it.
This, indeed, should be taken as the best opportunity to iron out the problems within the party in relation to the issue of the coalition, which is perhaps the country’s best bet in finally ejecting Mugabe from power to open a new page for the country. For many years, divisions within opposition parties has helped Mugabe retain power as a beneficiary of the divide-and-rule concept.
But the nation has pinned its hopes on this coalition and the opposition cannot afford to blow away this chance.