OPPOSITION political parties, minus MDC-T, are on the verge of forming a coalition to contest the 2018 elections as one in a bid to end President Robert Mugabe’s rule.
Sources said the newly formed Zimbabwe People First led by former vice-president Joice Mujuru, which was registered a fortnight ago, was likely to be part of the coalition. The parties are however waiting for Mujuru to launch her party before bringing her on board.
Other parties which are part of the coalition include Zapu, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe and the National Constitutional Assembly.
People Democratic Party (PDP) secretary-general Gorden Moyo this week said opposition parties would soon go public on their collaboration.
“We do have engagements going on and just last week we had a meeting with the opposition parties. We are still working on the framework on co-operative engagement with our collaborators. Once that has been done there shall be a collective statement which shall be issued in the presence of all the nine parties involved,” said Moyo.
“I cannot disclose who the other opposition parties are because no one is authorised to speak until the collective statement is issued.”
He said issues discussed by the political parties include the state of the economy, effects of the drought and the need for electoral reforms.
Moyo said although there were informal discussions with MDC-T officials, the party was not yet part of the coalition talks.
“People from both parties do meet at various occasions be it at a funeral, wedding and pubs. It’s not like we are enemies. People do meet but informal issues are not party issues. I do not have any record of any formal political agreement with the MDC-T and the party is not part of our formal discussions, but if they come we will listen,” said Moyo.
The Zimbabwe Independent three weeks ago stated that Tsvangirai had sent emissaries including MDC-T director of International Affairs, Hebson Makuvise to instigate informal talks with Biti. It has however emerged that no such talks have taken place.
MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said despite not being part of the coalition talks, his party was willing to work with anyone opposed to Zanu PF irrespective of their numerical value.
Mwonzora said: “We are aware of certain political parties who want to engage in politics of exclusion. This politics of exclusion doesn’t work. If Mr Biti does not want to work with us it is fair and good but he is not doing his party and people of Zimbabwe a favour.”
The talks of the opposition parties come at a time the ruling Zanu PF is knee-deep in factional fights to succeed Mugabe.