Pro-government outlets in Zimbabwe have dismissed the potency of an opposition coalition set up to retire veteran leader Robert Mugabe from politics come 2018.
Ahead of next year’s highly anticipated polls, main opposition figures – Morgan Tsvangirai and Joyce Mujuru – last week announced a coalition to face Mugabe who has been chosen to represent the ruling Zanu-PF party.
The state-owned Chronicle newspaper wrote in an editorial over the weekend that Zanu-PF was the only truly national party and one that served the best interest of locals.
If Zanu-PF had ended there and folded its arms basking in old glory (of the liberation war), coalitions like the one Mr. Tsvangirai et al are working on could have posed an electoral threat to the party.
“Zanu-PF is a party that is rightly beholden to the electorate and does not waste its time wanting to please foreigners.
“If Zanu-PF had ended there and folded its arms basking in old glory (of the liberation war), coalitions like the one Mr. Tsvangirai et al are working on could have posed an electoral threat to the party,” it added.
A columnist writing in the Sunday Mail – a pro-Mugabe portal – also described the opposition’s move as ‘gullible.’ According to Vukani Madoda, the opposition and its allies are prone to ‘political prostitution, violence and cowardice.’
93-year-old Mugabe in February this year described an opposition coalition as a ‘huge pile of zeros,’ he has yet to comment on the latest development. The party is also yet to speak on the issue.
The coalition has at its helm, former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and former Vice President Joyce Mujuru. The two signed a deal last week with the leader of a smaller party, Welshman Ncube, reports indicate that other parties are being wooed to be part of the agenda.
Tsvangirai, a three-time loser to Mugabe, said he expected similar deals to the one with Mujuru would be struck with other political groups.
Tsvangirai, who lost the 2013 presidential vote against Mugabe, is now leading MDC-T, a faction of the Movement for Democratic Change, that was formed after the party was weakened by splits over how to confront Mugabe.
The MDC, evicted from the unity government after its crushing defeat in the 2013 election, has been split over whether to dump Tsvangirai before the next vote in 2018.
Mujuru, who formed a new National People’s Party in March last year, said the two parties had worked on the agreement for the last six months and would now start negotiating specific details to strengthen their alliance.