HARARE – Opposition political parties united under the Coalition for Democrats (Code) banner have insisted that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) interim president Joice Mujuru can only join them on an equal basis.
This comes as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti joined Code on Thursday and vowed that those who want to be persuaded into joining a grand coalition may find themselves isolated from the masses.
Currently, Code has seven political parties — Biti’s PDP, the Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu, Welshman Ncube’s MDC, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe led by Elton Mangoma (RDZ), Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (Dare), the Zimbabweans United for Democracy (Zunde) and Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD).
Farai Mbira, who is current chairperson of the alliance, told Code supporters that they still have seats for every political party to join them, albeit on an equal footing.
“Mujuru and Tsvangirai are welcome . . . their seats at the Code table remain . . . but we are all important because every vote counts,” he said.
Speaking after officially joining Code, Biti said while there is no doubt that a grand coalition could give President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF a run for their money, there is need for all opposition parties to put aside their selfish interests and realise that “no political party is bigger than the other”.
“This is a coalition that is not in competition with other opposition parties but we are not going to bow before anyone . . . we are going to work very hard to ensure that next year we give Zanu PF a run for their money . . . ” said Biti.
There is a general feeling that the main opposition leader has a “big brother syndrome”.
Last year, Tsvangirai seemingly slammed the door on, Biti, but embraced Ncube as talks among opposition parties continue to stutter due to personalities differences, infiltration by State security agents as well as personal hatred.
While Biti and company have been running with Code, Mujuru and Tsvangirai have been rallying behind the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera).
Still, there is a feeling among analysts that Mujuru and Tsvangirai offer the opposition parties the brightest chances of ending Mugabe’s 37-yearold rule.
Biti yesterday suggested that some opposition parties were making “selfish considerations.”
Last December, he told the Daily News that he is ready to work with Tsvangirai, with whom he parted company with in 2014 following the MDC’s electoral defeat in 2013 only on equal basis.