Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says his party has responded to people’s calls for unity as it signed another Memorandum of Understanding ahead of the 2018 general elections with Transform Zimbabwe led by Jacob Ngarivhume in Harare on Wednesday.
In a statement, the MDC-T leader said, “In the last few months we have answered the call by the people of Zimbabwe for opposition unity. In this regard, in December 2016 our National Council met and defined a path that the party would follow in achieving the coalescing of opposition forces.
“This path departs from the current narrative in coalition building, which is being informed, by positions rather than a transformative agenda that responds to the needs of the people. We say no to a coalition built on the basis of a boardroom elite consensus, devoid of and divorced from the voices of Zimbabweans in whatever form expressed and implied.”
He said his proposed coalition ahead of the 2018 general elections, which also includes Welshman Ncube’s MDC formation and Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party, involves the careful selection of would-be partners, so that the opposition parties re not infiltrated by opponents but coalesce only with those who genuinely share the MDC-T’s transformative agenda.
“Being selective is not synonymous with being exclusive. Whilst a squad of a football club might have 26 players, only 11 will play at a time, depending with the coach’s strategy and the opponent. The remainder will have their chance but still support and remain members of the same squad with the same objective.
“We seek not a quantitative coalition to distribute positions amongst the elite, but a qualitative agenda driven coalition with a well thought out electoral strategy. We seek a coalition with the people of Zimbabwe from all sectors of our country. We will therefore not experiment with the future of Zimbabweans.”
He said the MDC-T also set clear guidelines on how this engagement would be done and the principles guiding it.
“Today, as part of this process, we have signed another MOU with a young but vibrant party - Transform Zimbabwe. A party, which has its roots in our religious and civic community. A party formed and led by young people. A party that has worked well with others in the democratic movement seeking an even electoral playing field.
“As MDC we recognize that good leadership entails amongst other things the ability to assist in the creation of new leaders and not recycle already recycled and failed ones as part of the process of building a vibrant multi-party democracy in our country for today and for posterity. We need to infuse new blood and new thinking in our body politic.
“Old wine in new bottles just won’t cut it, because it will be a continuation of the status quo. We need vibrancy and a leadership focused on the current and future challenges that our country and in particular our young people are facing and will face. An agenda anchored on the past as represented by ZANU PF and its neo-acolytes or should I say Zanulites, won’t cut it.”
Several other parties have formed a coalition designed to unseat the ruling Zanu PF party in the next elections.