Proponents of a grand coalition which excludes MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai have come up with a code which, if approved, will govern how the coalition will work.
Sources close to the developments however revealed the leaders of the parties have not signed the agreement as they are still consulting their members.
Among other things, the parties agreed to keep their different identities but use the coalition’s symbol when sponsoring a candidate or when doing activities associated with the coalition.
Known as the Coalition of Democrats Agreement (Code) the parties, MDC-T Renewal, MDC, Zapu and Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile agreed to “establish a united, democratic, socially just and green Zimbabwe in which all are free, equal, and prosperous and enjoy happy and fulfilling lives.”
Reads the agreement: “The platform we have created shall be known as the Coalition of Democrats (Code). The Coalition of Democrats shall be a body corporate capable of suing and being sued and acquiring and disposing of property in its own right.”
“For the purposes of participating in elections and sponsoring candidates or doing any other programmes, Code shall have its own distinct symbols and logos separate from those of the parties or organisation that are its members. Membership of Code shall be open to political parties and organisations which subscribe to the coalition’s practice, values, principles and objectives.”
The parties agreed to set up a governing council which would have the right and obligation of accepting and refusing the membership application of any political party, organisation, body or person who is not a founder member.
The governing council will comprise all the presidents or principals of the political parties and two other senior leaders, nominated by each political party or organisation that is a member to Code.
The governing council will be responsible for the day-to-day affairs of Code and is charged with designing and implementing all the programmes of the coalition, designing and implementing any electoral and campaign strategy.
It has also been charged with coming up with a fair and just framework for candidate selection and candidate nomination in the fulfillment of the principle of fielding one candidate for each elective office in every election.
It will also elect and appoint the rotating chairmanship and steering committees, as well as produce a schedule of the order of the respective chairmanships, among other things.
The chairperson of Code shall be held on a rotational basis and the governing council is expected to agree and define the order in which the chairpersonship will rotate on a two-month cycle amongst all the political parties who are members of the coalition.
“The leader or principal of each political party whose turn it is to occupy the chairpersonship shall become the automatic chairperson of Code during the designated two-month period,” reads the agreement.
“If the chairperson is absent or unable to carry out his or her duties, then the political party, in respect of which the chairperson is the president or principal, shall nominate another person to act for and on behalf of the chairperson.”
Code will also have steering committees, namely finance and administration, organising and advocacy, international relations, media, information and publicity, election, policy research and publications, women, as well as the youths committee — which shall be sub-committees of the governing council.
Chairpersons of the steering committees and the deputies shall rotate, in terms of the list produced and prepared by the governing council and shall hold office for two months.
Each member political party or organisation shall appoint two members to every steering committee.
If two thirds of the members of Code withdraw, the coalition shall stand dissolved.
“In the event of the dissolution of Code, the members shall equitably distribute the assets and liabilities of same,” reads the agreement.
“In the event of failure to agree on the dissolution and distribution of assets and liabilities, then the matter shall be referred to arbitration by an arbitrator, appointed by the Commercial Arbitration Centre in Harare.”