The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by former Movement for Democratic Change secretary general, Tendai Biti, has joined a group of opposition parties known as the Coalition of Democrats (CODE), comprising several parties vying to unseat President Robert Mugabe.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Harare on Thursday, Biti said they are joining the coalition after realizing that this is the only way to remove the ruling Zanu PF party from power.
“It is with great humility that as PDP, we have taken this position of joining CODE, a process which we were part of when the first CODE meeting was held in Harare on 14 May 2014. Today, we complete a journey started nearly three years ago. CODE is bound by upright qualities of that no one is more equal than the other.”
Members of the People's Democratic Party.
He said the coalition wants to ensure that Zimbabweans will establish a free and democratic society based on some provisions of the country’s constitution.
“That is the vision of CODE. We are not asking for much. We are asking what is in the Constitution - the freedom to love. A Zimbabwe that treats us like first class citizens and not fourth class citizens, that is why we are forming this coalition.
“We are confident that CODE is the only coalition in Zimbabwe and that believes in personal accountability and this is our natural home. This is a coalition, we are not in competition with other political parties but it is a coalition that is not going to beg anyone and we are going to work very hard. CODE is the only political alliance and it will survive. We have respect for different views and we cannot question the lack of wisdom.”
He said Zimbabwe is less than 18 months to an election, which would be held without significant electoral reforms.
“As we sit here right now, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been kicked out (of the voter registration process). Zanu PF is known for predatory, toxic politics. It is state capture. Zanu PF is confirming that it has captured ZEC.
“It is therefore not accidental that we are signing CODE in a church. We find it humble that we are signing this in church and the walls of Jericho are going to fall sooner. Chief among our demands will be a new voters’ roll …”
Biti said CODE will give Zanu PF a run for their money and there is need for it to establish a transformative state.
Supporters of the People's Democratic Party.
“Our agenda in CODE is we have a duty to transform Zimbabwe and as PDP we commit ourselves to work tirelessly to achieve this. My words to Zanu PF are that we are coming for you Robert Mugabe.”
He further noted that it is sad that at least 91% of the people are unemployed. “Many young children are fleeing the country at a rate of 3,000 a week crossing the flooded crocodile-infested Limpopo River into South Africa. The majority of the people in urban areas are surviving on tsaona. We are living like wild animals. We have to mobilize for the crisis that we are facing.”
The other parties in the coalition include Mavambo Kusile Dawn led by Simba Makoni, Professor Welshman Ncube’s Movement for Democratic Change formation, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe led by Elton Mangoma, Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment and Zimbabweans United for Democracy and Zapu led by Dumiso Dabengwa.