PLANS to establish a grand coalition of all political parties excluding MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai may suffer a stillbirth as the parties negotiating are not agreeable on the way forward.
While Tendai Biti’s MDC Renewal Team — which met for a strategic retreat in Bulawayo from Wednesday till today — and Welshman Ncube’s MDC are ready for a coalition, the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party led by Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu have requested more time to consult with their members.
There are, however, fears that the two are mulling a pullout.
Reliable sources in the coalition said: “With Dabengwa, we are not sure where he stands exactly but he is indecisive and we suspect he is watching how the Zanu PF succession unfolds, while Makoni has been insisting that Tsvangirai should be part of the coalition. It seems Makoni has some kind of agreement with Tsvangirai.”
Mavambo spokesperson Evans Sagomba said Mavambo initiated the grand coalition initiative in 2008 where Makoni called for a National Authority after the disputed March 2008 election.
Sagomba said: “This formation of a coalition started way back. We have been part of the negotiations of a grand coalition that includes everyone and that means even (MDC-T president Morgan) Tsvangirai, like-minded people, churches and non-governmental organisations.”
He added: “Meetings have been taking place over a coalition and we are still going to be in the negotiations with the view that it has to include everyone. As soon as anything is tangible we will give you the right position.”
Efforts to get a comment from Dabengwa were fruitless as his two mobile numbers were unreachable.
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) party, which in earlier media reports had distanced itself from the grand coalition, last month attended the first meeting of the coalition. It, however, insisted that it would only be part of the coalition if it addressed problems faced by Zimbabweans.
NCA spokesperson Madock Chivasa in an interview last month said: “We were invited to that meeting. We don’t want to be arrogant not to attend anything formed by Zimbabweans, where we can also be useful. We will talk to anyone forming a coalition. Coalitions are a good thing if reasons are clear.”