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MDC-T: We Are Not Part of Proposed Opposition Parties Coalition

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gestures during a media briefing in Harare Aug. 3, 2013.

The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai says it is currently focusing on creating a condusive electoral environment for conducting free and fair elections in Zimbabwe and not becoming part of a coalition of parties to contest the 2018 crucial general and presidential elections.

In a statement, party spokesperson Obert Gutu said the MDC believes in a people-driven as opposed to a leaders-driven political discourse.

He appeared to be responding to reports that the MDC-T and Zimbabwe People First did not attend coalition talks organized by opposition parties that were held last week in South Africa.

“Whilst we appreciate that a coalition of opposition political parties, if carefully structured and strategically implemented, can give the Zanu PF dictatorship a crushing and humiliating defeat in a free and fair election, the MDC is acutely mindful of the need to always take into consideration the interests of the majority of the toiling masses of Zimbabwe whenever an electoral coalition pact is to be entered into.

“President Morgan Tsvangirai is personally handling the issue of coalition discussions and deliberations with similar minded opposition political parties. Our leader is a tried and tested fighter for democratic governance in Zimbabwe and we have absolutely no doubt in our minds that he is perfectly able and indeed, capable, of making the necessary consultations that will ultimately lead to the creation of an electoral coalition pact that will send Zanu PF to the cleaners in the do-or-die harmonised elections to be held in 2018.”

Gutu noted that the MDC, together with 17 or so other opposition political parties, is participating in the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) platform whose main agenda is to fight for electoral reforms and not to fight for the creation of a political coalition to face the Zanu PF dictatorship in 2018. “Put simply, the MDC is primarily concerned, for now, with the creation of a condusive electoral environment that will bring about a free and fair election.”

Gutu said it would be totally unwise and imprudent to fight for positions in the proposed electoral coalition “before we have forced Zanu PF to reform its renegade and terrorist conduct that has always led to the holding of elections that are neither free nor fair. The MDC will continue to collaborate with its political colleagues under the NERA trajectory to ensure that the necessary electoral reforms are put in place before the 2018 elections are held.

“The MDC doesn’t find any value and/or wisdom in exchanging crude and rude personal attacks with other opposition political parties as we continue to force the Zanu PF dictatorship to give in to our rightful and constitutional demand for electoral reforms.”

He said, in the same breath, Tsvangirai will continue to discuss and exchange notes with similar-minded opposition political leaders as “we seek to establish common ground before a formal electoral coalition pact can be publicly announced. This is work in progress and we would like to re-assure all the concerned people of Zimbabwe that we will not let them down. The people’s struggle is also our struggle. We shall always remain on the side of the people as the democratic fight against the bankrupt, corrupt and faction-ridden Zanu PF regime enters the homestretch.”

He said at an appropriate point in time, Tsvangirai will make a formal public announcement regarding the issue of an electoral coalition ahead of the 2018 general polls.

“Negotiations of such a monumental significance are never conducted in public. We have our eyes on the ball all the time and going forward, the people of Zimbabwe will be kept properly informed of the progress that is being made. There is every reason to be optimistic because we are about to cross the river Jordan as we enter the Zimbabwean political and socio-economic Canaan.”

There was no immediate response from some of the political parties currently engaged in the coalition talks that were held in South Africa.