Dabengwa's Party Joins Opposition Coalition

By Dylan Murambgi

Harare, November 18, 2016 – FORMER Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa and his Zapu party have joined Welshman Ncube and Simba Makoni whose parties are coalescing under the now six party Coalition of Democrats (Code).

The coalition is a loose arrangement by some of the country’s mainstream political parties which is aimed at fighting the 2018 elections against Zanu PF as a single unit.

Zapu and the People’s Democratic Party  (PDP) led by Tendai Biti, although being part of the initial processes that saw the formation of the Code May 31, had asked for time to first consult party structures before appending their signatures to the agreement.

The five which were already part of the arrangement are Ncube’s MDC,  Makoni’s MKD, the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe led by Elton Mangoma, the Democratic Assembly for the Restoration and Empowerment  (DARE) led by Gilbert Dzikiti and the Zimbabwe United for Democracy (ZUNDE) led by Farai Mbire.

Dabengwa signed the agreement at a brief ceremony held at the RDZ offices in Harare after authorities at Ambassador Hotel, where the coalition had booked to have the event, called in anti-riot police to disperse them saying the event was not sanctioned.

This was despite the hotel having accepted payment for the event to be held there and also knowing the nature of the event.

Dabengwa said they were merely confirming their membership of Code and not joining the coalition as they had always been there since its inception.

Zapu is a co-founder of CODE and we participated in it all the time until the signing of the document which was done earlier this year,” Dabengwa said.

“At the time it was done we felt that we should consult our structures right down to the branches and there was Congress that was actually on the way and we thought it was best  to wait for our  Congress which was held in August.”

He said the party’s congress had given them the mandate as leadership to go ahead and sign the agreement.

Ncube, who is current coalition chair, said the signing of the agreement by Zapu was a vote of confidence in their vision, adding they were hopeful that all opposition political parties in the country would have joined the coalition by the time the country went to elections in 2018.

Let us remind ourselves that what we are trying to do is to build a coalition of all political actors as well as civil society actors on the long term to find common and collective solutions to the challenges that face our people be they social, economic and political challenges,” he said.

He added, “Obviously the ultimate manifestation of that coalition; that working together is being able to fight elections whenever they are held from one corner.

“We will continue in our efforts to engage other political players who have not as yet signed up to this vision in the hope that before the next elections, we will be able to have all the political players in this country who are opposed to the continued suffering of our people in one corner so that we have collective solutions to our challenges.”