ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa who pulled out of the presidential race at the last minute, yesterday revealed that his party is backing MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa’s candidacy.
Chamisa is one of the 23 presidential aspirants who filed papers at the nomination court on Thursday to contest the country’s top post in the July 30 harmonised elections.
The former Home Affairs Minister Dabengwa said it was regrettable opposition parties failed to forge a grand coalition to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu PF party in the upcoming elections.
The former Home Affairs minister argued a grand alliance “was essential to enhance the capacity of one of the opposition leaders to take over the country’s presidency”.
“My party is, therefore, throwing its weight behind Chamisa as a presidential candidate in the 2018 elections for which I am not standing, in his favour,” Dabengwa said at a Press conference yesterday.
“This is consistent with the line we have taken that personal egos and vanity should not be allowed to prevent us from crafting a combination capable of bringing about a democratic transition essential for peace, security, economic reconstruction and development. Zimbabweans deserve this, both current and future generations.”
Dabengwa said the party’s decision was also informed by recent bilateral negotiations with the MDC Alliance that were expected to result in the sharing of Parliament proportional representation seats.
“Through this agreement the two entities have committed themselves to the promotion of practical co-operation in what they view as a turning point in the struggle for democracy and good governance in Zimbabwe.
“For my part, I will actively support the candidacy of Chamisa and be at hand to support it if he wins the presidential contest, as I earnestly hope,” he added.
Dabengwa was expected to file his papers as a Zapu presidential candidate after the opposition party vowed to go it alone following the collapse of negotiations to form a united front against the ruling Zanu PF.
Mnangagwa has said Zanu PF was not troubled by the opposition, expressing confidence he will post a landslide victory.