A leader of a faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) says opposition parties in Zimbabwe are to blame for the continued dominance of the ruling Zanu PF party and as a result they should form a formidable coalition ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Speaking to journalists in Bulawayo today, Thokozani Khupe, apologized for being part of a fragmented opposition, noting that the MDC would have romped to victory in the 2018 council, parliamentary and presidential elections had if parties were working together.
Khupe said the opposition has over the years discouraged voters from taking part in crucial national polls due to its failure to meet the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.
“There are inspiring examples in the region for people to believe that change through an election is possible. We have examples in Zambia and in Malawi which demonstrated that change is possible when people come together and unite for a good cause.
“Similarly, the situation in our beloved country is pointing to the need for unity of purpose. Unity amongst opposition political parties is of paramount importance, as it will result in the formation of a formidable force to confront ZANU PF. The formidable force must start to speak with one voice, they must start to act with one voice and they must start to Vote with one voice.”
Khupe also said, “It is high time as opposition parties we converge and mobilize citizens and together unite for a common course and that common course being a New Zimbabwe, a new Zimbabwe with Jobs, a new Zimbabwe with plenty of food because Zimbabwe used to be the bread basket of Africa, a new Zimbabwe with quality education and health, a new Zimbabwe where everyone will have a better life.
“We need to unapologetically preach the gospel of unity, in bars, in churches, in the villages and in the urban areas where we stay. Let us remind each other that future generations will not forgive us if we allow next year’s chance to slip away. It is a glorious chance that comes to us the ordinary people once in five years and we must make the most of it. Time has come for political parties students, women’s movements, vendors, war veterans, the church, labour, transport operators and touts, the civic movement and other social networks to come together and challenge the ZANU PF regime.”
She pledged that her party will start working with other opposition groups ahead of the 2023 harmonized elections.
“We are henceforth going to be working with likeminded opposition political parties because we are stronger together and together we can deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe and ‘Yes We Can’. As the MDC-T, we are today sending a message to the world that together we are stronger. Indeed, together we can. And together, we will go far.
“… The hour has come for us to walk together every step of the way in our quest to deliver real change so that every Zimbabwean lives in a Zimbabwe where there is equal distribution of resources and opportunities in the spirit of devolution. The hour has come for citizens to converge and vote for change. Together we can make a difference.”
Khupe apologized for all her transgressions of the past, noting that all political leaders made mistakes in the quest for social, economic and political transformation in Zimbabwe.
“For the past 22 years, the journey and the struggle for democracy has not been easy. We have fallen in the process as well as erred in a number of occasions. I would also like to mention with a heavy heart that as politicians we have made mistakes in the past and it is important that when one makes a mistake they admit they have made a mistake and then use that mistake as a stepping-stone to success. Collectively, myself included, we have made mistakes and it is high time we acknowledge that and take note of our mistakes and use those mistakes to shape our future.”
Indications are that in the near future, Khupe is likely going to work with Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change.
Khupe was among people that recalled lawmakers and councilors who were linked to Chamisa, resulting in the holding of by-elections nationwide.
Over 130 council and parliamentary seats are up for grabs in the March 26 by-elections.