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Zimbabweans United for Democracy ... Determining our own future ... We demand real change ... Fear is not an option ... Tiri kuvaka ramangwana redu ... Tinoda sanduko chaiyo ... Hatichatya ... Siyakha elakusasa lethu ... Sifuna inguquko yobala ... Asikhethi ukwesaba ...

 

Unlocking coalition conundrum

by Moses Chamboko
15 May 2017Moses Chamboko, Secretary General of ZUNDE

For the 2018 elections, which are not very far, Zimbabwe needs nothing, but an effective and genuine coalition guided by a shared vision, driven by common values, inspired by national aspirations and anchored on our proud and courageous history. There is nothing in between unless if we are preparing for another long season of shock, paralysis and despondency as happened in 2013. This must not be repeated.

The July 31, 2013 election came and went. Three months passed with dead silence from the main opposition. There was not even a celebratory mood in the Zanu PF camp. It was like a village in mourning. Somebody had to come in and fill that vacuum. That’s when and how a team of proactive Zimbabweans around the world came together to form Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE). Precisely, this was on October 24, 2013.

At the centre of our vision was the coming together of genuine and progressive opposition movements into some kind of united movement and confront Zanu PF as one. It is for this reason that we are signatories to both the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and Coalition of Democrats (Code), being among the very first movements to sign both agreements. We have come into opposition politics as a catalyst for genuine change, an impartial player that will never give up. In the last three years, we have been championing the idea of a grand coalition to the extent that we got Zanu PF worried, not that we care!

Of late, there has been some notable effort towards the formation of an alliance or coalition of some sort. For political correctness, we prefer to call it a united movement. In the strongest of terms, ZUNDE condemns anybody who is working directly or indirectly towards derailing or frustrating the formation of an effective coalition in Zimbabwe.

We are not asking anybody to abandon their identity, structures or members. We are like villagers at a funeral; let us put our differences aside, come together as one and give a decent send-off to the deceased. Even family members with personal differences, when there is a death in the extended family, in African tradition, they come together and do whatever they can to make sure one of their own is afforded a decent burial. 2018 is that season where the entire opposition family needs to come together irrespective of our little differences. There is more that unites than divides us.

However, some of us are deeply concerned to read and learn about some parallel or competing coalition deals that are now happening clandestinely in exclusionary and at times elitist manner. Some are done in top secrecy in the private offices of Harare, others are done on the beaches of Cape Town with others signed in private homes. All this would be plausible if the effort was synchronised and complementary, with the same national objective.

We are gutted when we see what seems to be tussling for positions across the parties. We respect everybody in the opposition family, but we reserve the right to disagree with some of the things happening now. Some of our key strengths are that we are consistent, we are genuine and we are not afraid to say the truth. We will speak up against self-serving interests and manoeuvres. This is not a power game of some sort. It is a rescue mission meant to extricate our nation from the current quagmire. Games are games and this certainly is not one of them!

In November 2015, we distributed our coalition proposal to all opposition parties that were in existence by then. The simple but pragmatic proposal had a clear road map of the processes to be followed and the structures and systems to be put in place. At the core of our proposal was creation of what we called a stakeholder council, a broad, impartial, inclusive and advisory council composed of non-political and non-partisan actors. To us, this is the centre of the coalition universe.

We did not see coalition as solely a product of political parties, but other players including civil society in general, business leaders, war veterans, traditional leaders, farmers, students, unions, churches, vendors, workers etc. At the same time, we welcomed the entry into opposition politics by some “new” protagonists that had been persecuted and expelled from Zanu PF, cautiously though. We raised some red flags some of which seem to have been reasonably attended to. Continued next page >

© ZUNDE Inc. 2016

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