17 May 2017

Zimbabwe: Biti - Coalition Must Be Around Issues Not Personalities

Photo: allafrica.com
Opposition party figures : Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai.

President Robert Mugabe's dictatorship can only be removed from power through a formidable coalition of opposition parties, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) has said.

PDP said pro-democracy movements in Zimbabwe must synergise their efforts and support if they are serious about winning the 2018 elections from a party which has ruled the country for 37 years.

"A coalition is a means to an end. Ultimately, we must create a transformational developmental state where every citizen has a stake," said PDP president Tendai Biti during a Coalition of Democrats (CODE) event held in Harare recently.

CODE brings together some nine opposition parties partnering against the ruling Zanu PF party in next year's general elections.

The coalition has however been affected by the lack of support from parties such as MDC-T, the country's largest opposition party by parliamentary representation.

The idea of coalition has been considered for years but settling for individual to lead such groupings has proved contentious.

Biti said the mooted new coalition should be built around the common interest which is to provide Zimbabweans with a truly development oriented leadership.

"It is important that we coalesce around key transformational objectives not personalities. That way we create sustainable change for all," said the former finance minister.

"Best teams are not made of superstars, they are made of people with different qualities who humble themselves and rely on the other one's strength. If you deem yourself a superstar in Code you are probably in the wrong platform."

He added: "Our lives have been captured, emasculated and stolen by a few people from a gang called Zanu PF.

"We make a statement of hope that there is another Zimbabwe which is possible if people come together, it is an attempt to create a new narrative."

A struggling economy has left the majority of Zimbabwe impoverished for decades--a situation which opposition has ridden on but without success.

Government blames external forces for the economic failure while attributing its continued electoral victories on the appeal of the ruling party programmes and policies which they claim to be people centred.

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