Tsvangirai wary of Zanu PF infiltration


HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has warned its prospective coalition partners that it is keeping its eyes “wide open” to avoid carrying suspected Zanu PF “spies” into the eagerly-awaited grand alliance which will take President Robert Mugabe head-on in next year’s polls.

Tsvangirai and leaders of the smaller opposition parties who include former Vice President Joice Mujuru and his one-time secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, have signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs), as the opposition finalises steps to form the much-talked about electoral alliance.

“It may be concluded that if the opposition resolves internal questions and hold together until 2018 it represents a momentous development in Zimbabwe’s political history.

“If it maintains the support of civil society, it could lead one of the broad-based movements against the government ever seen. It is also important to highlight that Zimbabweans put their trust more in a bigger opposition force,” said MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu yesterday.

“On the other hand, while a coalition should be inclusive, it does not mean every party which claims to be an opposition party deserves a place in the grand coalition.

“Apart from opportunists, there are also infiltrators who will seek space in order to infiltrate and destabilise the coalition.

“Parties must demonstrate what they bring to the grand coalition beyond their names and leaders. It should also be noted that whilst a grand coalition is important, it is not the silver bullet for opposition parties,” Gutu added.

Last year, Tsvangirai also told diplomats that he was wary about the “real prospects” of the panicking ruling Zanu PF using some of the country’s smaller opposition parties to put spanners in the works of a viable grand coalition.

“Once again on this issue, Your Excellencies, you must understand that we reserve our right to determine who we will work with.

“There are about 42 political parties in the country, some of them deliberately created by Zanu PF to muddy the political waters. Some of them are not even institutions in the true sense of the word. We will do our own necessary diligence checks before we work with anyone,” the MDC leader told the diplomats then.

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