16 July 2017

Zimbabwe: Students Plot Against 2018 Vote Splitting

A group of concerned students, workers and civil society activists has launched an anti-2018 vote split campaign in Harare.

Code named #notovotesplitting, the campaign is aimed at encouraging opposition political parties to focus on and fast track the grand coalition pact against Zanu PF ahead of the 2018 elections.

At least 22 parties are in the process of selecting one leader who would lead the grand coalition.

One of the members of the proposed coalition, Mavambo/ Kusile/Dawn President, Simba Makoni, recently told a public political dialogue in the capital that talks were being hampered by intolerance.

Tendai Biti of People's Democratic Party, also said the talks were a "no walk in the park", again confirming that there were challenges in the negotiations.

"We are advocating, lobbying and campaigning for no vote splitting which happened in 2008, where a mere 8% made us this poor and brought us this suffering.

We are saying as a country which has a high literacy rate we should, this time around, invest in our literacy through speaking with one voice and defend our votes," Joelson Mugari, one of the campaign organizers, told people witnessing the campaign launch in Harare at the weekend.

In 2008, Makoni denied MDC-T's Morgan Tsvangirai an outright victory when he took 8% of the Presidential votes.

Mugari said 2008 should be a "hard" lesson to Zimbabweans.

"We should never split votes again," said Mugari.

"Let's all scrutinize closely these new parties which are coming now and trace where they are coming from and interrogate why they are coming to us. Are they genuine? Where were they all along and why are they appearing only a few months before elections?"

He added," We are saying no to vote splitting come 2018 and beware of hyenas and wolves in sheep skin; and in 2018 we declare one candidate against Mugabe, don't be an enemy of progress, we love true, genuine and rightful change for our country."

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