News / National
Tsvangirai sets conditions for coalition
14 Feb 2017 at 05:40hrs | Views
THE MDC-T has reportedly set stringent conditions for the Dr Joice Mujuru-led Zimbabwe People First in forging an alliance ahead of next year's elections by barring the troubled party from fielding candidates in constituencies that the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party won in 2008.
The MDC-T won the majority of seats in the National Assembly in 2008's harmonised elections, especially in Harare, Bulawayo, Manicaland and Masvingo.
Given the pressure the party is facing to forge a pre-election alliance with other opposition parties, insiders said the MDC-T was more interested in forming a coalition with ZimPF and the Professor Welshman Ncube MDC.
Mr Tsvangirai has publicly stated that the touted coalition of opposition parties would have to field single candidates from local authority level to Presidential elections.
MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora could neither confirm nor deny his party's demands, but stated that they would use their numerical advantage in contesting next year's polls.
"The alliance discussions are still going on, so no conclusion has been made yet," said Mr Mwonzora.
"That means nothing concrete has been finalised yet. But as MDC, we will look at our own relative strength and numerical advantage. However, that is not the only factor, we will also look at the strength of other parties, some of it known to us and some of it not known to us. Coalition partners will have to prove their strength to the MDC."
However, insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity said fielding of candidates was the major talking point that the MDC-T would not compromise on.
"The condition in the party at the moment is that we use the 2008 Parliamentary election results where the MDC-T had the majority in Parliament," said a source.
"The position is that all those constituencies that we won in 2008 will be contested by MDC-T candidates again because we consider those as our stronghold.
"This means that other coalition partners would have to make do with the remainder of the constituencies, which we already feel we cannot easily grab. This will work for Welshman (Ncube) because remember, he won about 10 seats in Matabeleland."
Another source concurred saying MDC-T had made its conditions clear in spite of them being stringent.
The source said MDC-T was going to field the majority of candidates in the event that the touted coalition succeeds.
"If you remember (MDC-T vice president) Thokozani Khupe said we do not need a coalition in Matabeleland but Mashonaland. What she was saying is that ZimPF would have to field candidates in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, parts of Mashonaland West and Midlands provinces that have always been under Zanu-PF.
"She (Dr Mujuru) has to prove her mettle by winning in those areas. We cannot allow her to contest in constituencies that were under MDC-T in 2008.
"We are using March 2008 results because we believe that election was free and fair. As a party, we do not recognise the 2013 election results because we believe they were rigged.
"The position of the party is that Mujuru cannot demand to field candidates in our strongholds because she would not be adding any numbers to the final result. If she can win in Mashonaland East, Central and parts of Mashonaland West while we win in Matabeleland provinces, Harare, Manicaland and Masvingo, that will see the coalition win the elections," said the source.
Efforts to get a comment from ZimPF spokesperson, Mr Jealousy Mawarire were fruitless.
Source - chronicle