In the obvious wisdom of a pre-electoral grand alliance, lies the secret

Freedom Alliance is a convergence of various individuals, organisations and stakeholders from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

Thousands, if not millions of people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, have occasionally pretended to be unaware of where their problems are rooted and where the requisite solution to those problems lies.

Interestingly, many well-meaning people of the region cannot deny the fact that in the obvious wisdom of a pre-electoral grand alliance and a post-electoral grand coalition, lies the secret!

While publicly denying it, in their hearts, in their homes and in their inner circles, they will tell you that for a politically fractured and economically dilapidated Matabeleland and Midlands, only a united, broad-based movement or the metaphorical big tent can be the rescue.

The broad church entity can be in the form of a well-crafted, grand alliance and grand coalition, that brings all the people and organisations from Matabeleland and Midlands together in order for them to reap the benefits of a politically chiseled front in order to triumph in an unequal Zimbabwe.

An alliance is established before an election to maximise votes for the contesting organisation, whereas a coalition is formed after the election for purposes of parliamentary and governmental work.

The alliance would be alive to, and respectful of diversity. It may endeavour to include ordinary people of various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, individuals from a balanced geographic orientation, lone activists, human rights defenders, culturists, environmentalists, civic society organisations (CSOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), the youth movement, the women’s movement, the students’ movement, the business fraternity, artists, academics and various political parties of the region, in their diversity, without forcing them to lose their original identities.

A highly inclusive social convergence of his nature has enough fuel to re-activate the fading political and economic hope of the region.

For starters, an alliance is a union or association formed for mutual benefit between individuals or member organisations. It is the coming together of  two or more political parties or non-political organisations before an election in order to harvest all the votes into a single basket.

For example, Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First), is a Kenyan political alliance currently headed by the president of Kenya, William Ruto. Its post-electoral coalition holds a majority in both the National Assembly and the Senate.

 Originally consisting of three parties, the total number now stands at 12. Such a “catch-all” alliance has the benefits of having members covering a broad spectrum of views, beliefs and geography, necessary for democratic diversity. The pre-electoral grand alliance is now the post-electoral grand coalition government of Kenya.

On the other hand, a coalition refers to the agreement of a minimum of two or more political parties or organisations to work together in Parliament or in government based on the outcome of the recently contested elections. It is meant for governance and parliamentary purposes after the election. Zimbabwe’s GNU, which succeeded the 2008 general election in which Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF were heavily defeated, could be taken as a coalition government, though a wobbly one for that matter.

 Unfortunately it included Zanu PF which has a bad history of disloyalty as a member of any agreed principle dating back to the Lancaster House negotiations of the 1979-Rhodesia all the way to the so-called Unity Accord of 1987 between Zanu PF and PF Zapu, in which the latter was cunningly swallowed and silenced. Deceitful individuals and their organisations form disloyal mergers meant to harvest one-sided benefits. That bad example has made some people in Matabeleland dread the alliance concept.

However, properly-constituted and well-meaning alliances and coalitions pursue an agreed set of common goals, common strategy, joint actions and the pooling of resources. In that regard, one would argue that the failure to field even a single presidential candidate from Matabeleland for the August 23, 2023 harmonised elections, would never be talked about or witnessed if the region united and put resources together.

On the contrary, a political party is an organisation that co-ordinates its members to compete in a particular country’s elections. In it, members have to hold similar ideas about politics and are not allowed to belong to any other political party or organisation.

In the Legislature, the Members of Parliament of that party are whipped into taking certain positions on any subject or phenomenon as decided by that political party or its leadership. This explains why most people from Matabeleland who are MPs from certain political parties fail to articulate the issues of the region because their political party positions are conspicuously anti-Matabeleland.

If members of a party happen to participate in the activities of another political organisation, they may be expelled. In other words, a political party is only made up of individuals coming together, as opposed to an alliance which is broad-based and takes an all-stakeholder approach and may include people and organisations with different views and orientations merging together for the achievement of a collective goal.

Considering the prevailing political environment in the country, in order to ensure that the issues of Matabeleland are effectively articulated and debated in Parliament, forming a broad-church in the form of a pre-electoral grand alliance and a post-electoral grand coalition rather than a political party, is the way to go.

In that vein, the Freedom Alliance has come in handy to unite and save the impoverished, downtrodden and dispersed people of Matabeleland and Midlands. Being an all-embracing, inclusive, people-driven, non-tribal, non-racial, non-sexist, and a broad-based umbrella movement that brings together and unites political, social, religious, labour, women, youth, student, business community and grassroots movements to collaborate and work together to liberate the oppressed and suffering masses of Matabeleland, the Freedom Alliance humbly accepts the huge demands placed on it by the people’s quest for freedom.

Its origins are forged in the aspirations of the people to break the chains of oppression through unity of purpose while restoring the dignity of the people of Matabeleland.

The Freedom Alliance, deeply founded on the principles of freedom, unity, peace, linguistic and cultural diversity, social democracy, gender equality and equity, the basic respect for human and women rights, believes in the invaluable benefits of a pre-electoral grand alliance and a post-electoral grand coalition because they are the essential but untapped resource that can help save Matabeleland and Midlands.

The pooling of different views through an alliance ensures that dictatorship can be prevented and democracy strengthened in the organisation or coalition concerned and in the country, as a result if the alliance assumes State power.

If properly constituted and genuine, alliances and coalitions can ensure balanced regional representation as opposed to the status quo. In the post-Mugabe era of our time, we should never rally behind anyone, be it an individual or organisation, claiming to champion democracy and freedom but whose behaviour shows no evidence of such, despite the ethnic or tribal advantage they may appear to have.

It is intriguing to note that in the obvious wisdom of a pre-electoral grand alliance and a post-electoral grand coalition, lies the simple secret!

“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”

  • Freedom Alliance is a convergence of various individuals, organisations and stakeholders from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

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