MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and National People’s Party (NPP) president Joice Mujuru are moving towards joining forces in order to fight President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF party as a cohesive unit at the forthcoming general elections in July.
NPP spokesperson Jefferson Chitando confirmed the talks, saying these have reached an advanced stage.
“Since the death of (founding MDC president Morgan) Tsvangirai in February, talks between the two parties for a coalition have never stopped and it is our hope that the talks will be concluded as soon as possible because that is the only way we can have Zimbabwe working again,” Chitando said.
“Mujuru has been meeting other leaders of opposition parties lately although I cannot tell you details but it is reality that meetings have been held not only with Chamisa but with other leaders as well”.
Chitando expressed hope that an announcement would be made soon. Chamisa’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka referred questions to MDC acting spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo saying he was on study leave.
While Khumalo was not immediately available for a comment, Chamisa is on record extending an olive branch to Mujuru and Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa.
Addressing MDC supporters at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda last weekend, Chamisa said he was mooting a grand coalition with Mujuru, Dabengwa and other smaller parties in order to dismantle Mnangagwa and Zanu PF’s hegemony.
“The people in this country need to be united. I asked Mujuru and Dabengwa and other small political parties to join me. We need a united front to beat Zanu PF,” he said.
Analysts are unanimous that a united opposition, fighting with one purpose, could easily bring Zanu PF’s rule to an abrupt end, especially at a time when Mnangagwa is facing rebellion in his party over the just-ended primary elections.
Several losing Zanu PF Members of Parliament have been threatening to run as independent candidates or vote for the opposition in protest over alleged rigging of the primary polls.
Proponents for a grand coalition believe that Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose husband, Solomon, was the first black post-independence army commander, could provide the much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the smooth transfer of power if they win elections.