MDC Alliance targets Mutasa, Gumbo

Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo

HARARE – The MDC Alliance led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has made moves to add within its ranks once Zanu PF ministers — Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo — in a bid to include experience and special skills to its unit ahead of next year’s elections.

This comes as former vice president and leader of the National People’s Party (NPP), Joice Mujuru, has formed her own alliance with some fringe parties in what analysts say could be her bargaining card when the opposition finally meets to launch the grand coalition.

Mutasa, Gumbo and Mujuru, together with other high ranking officials, were sacked from Zanu PF in December 2014 on untested charges of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.

Yesterday, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu confirmed the development to the Daily News saying they are ready to form a formidable alliance to challenge Mugabe in 2018 elections.

“The MDC Alliance is, of course, lobbying all concerned and patriotic Zimbabweans in all political parties, to come and join us as we seek to form a strong and formidable coalition that will collapse the Zanu PF regime in next year’s elections.

“The more, the merrier. We will continue to reach out to all concerned and serious political parties in our relentless quest to solidify the MDC Alliance,” Gutu told the Daily News.

Mutasa, on his part, yesterday told the Daily News that he was willing to work with Tsvangirai as he viewed him as the “only tried and tested” opposition leader.

“As I said before I think Tsvangirai is the most experienced opposition leader, he has got a huge following unlike other opposition leaders. I am willing to talk to anybody who wants to see a better Zimbabwe. I am ready even to engage Tsvangirai,” said Mutasa.

Efforts to get comment from Gumbo were fruitless as his mobile phone was not available.

In July, Mutasa told the Daily News that Tsvangirai must be given an opportunity to “complete the project he started” and was deserving of leading the mooted grand coalition.

“The confusion that is going on about the leadership of the coalition shows that all these people who purport to be in the opposition ranks are not ready to take Mugabe head-on except for Tsvangirai, the only one I respect because of the effort he has been putting since he launched his political career several years back.

“People should thus be humble to say let’s help Tsvangirai complete this project he started not to say he is not capable of leading a coalition when it’s him who started the whole thing.

“That is why some of us will always say if we want to get there as a country, Tsvangirai should be left to do things that he knows best not to say he must now take a back seat when he is the one who has a proven track record,” Mutasa told the Daily News then.

The proposed grand coalition has hit headwinds as opposition leaders haggle over who should lead the electoral alliance.

Mujuru, on numerous occasions has punted herself to lead the coalition while on the other hand, Tsvangirai has acted in a manner that suggests him and the MDC hold sway to who should be in the alliance.

As a result, Tsvangirai launched the MDC Alliance together with various other opposition parties at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare, on August 5.

Among the signatories to the pact are the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by Tendai Biti; the MDC led by Welshman Ncube; Transform Zimbabwe headed by Jacob Ngarivhume; Zanu Ndonga headed by Denford Masiyarira; and the Multi-Racial Christian Democrats led by Mathias Guchutu.

Both Biti and Ncube are former secretaries-general of the main MDC.

Mujuru stayed out of the MDC Alliance and instead, on Friday launched the Peoples Rainbow Coalition with little-known opposition parties.

Former MDC treasurer Elton Mangoma has opted to stay out of both MDC and Mujuru’s Alliances and now leads the Coalition of Democrats (Code)

Analysts have consistently said a united opposition stands a chance of finally defeating Mugabe and Zanu PF in the eagerly-anticipated polls. – Daily News