Opposition Parties Demand Government Positions

At a joint press conference in Harare Friday, the parties – Democratic Party, MDC99, Zanu Ndonga and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) – accused the three main parties in government of monopolising political space and leading the nation astray.

“We, principals of the undersigned political parties outside the GNU and working together on the common Issues Platform (CIP), hereby petition you as SADC Mediator in the Zimbabwe political crisis with our demand to meet with you during your next visit to Zimbabwe so that we can make our submission and proposal on the way forward in our country,” read the petition, which was read by Zapu president Dr Dumiso Dabengwa.

The parties demanded to have their representatives drafted into the current constitution making process, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee and a say in the roadmap to free and fair elections.

The parties were also joined in their demands by a representative of Dr Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn.

President Zuma is expected in Zimbabwe next week on a mission to browbeat the parties back on the roadmap towards free and fair elections.

MDC99 leader Job Sikhala threatened to gatecrash Zuma’s meeting with the three GPA principals if they were denied audience with him.

“We are going to storm the meeting where Jacob Zuma would be meeting the three principals in the inclusive government,” he said.

“We are going to have our own convoy of cars and demand audience with the facilitator to the Zimbabwean crisis. We cannot allow the three principals to continue dictating our politics,” he said.

The parties further threatened to hold peace rallies that would run parallel to planned rallies by the three main parties in government.

Democratic Party leader Urayayi Zembe added his voice to the parties’ demands.

“Now it has become the right for us in the political industry to demand that we will not allow a few of us to dictate the constitutional dispensation and a government that has destroyed all fundamental human rights,” he said.

The opposition parties, which do not have any parliamentary representative in the current legislature, did not rule out a possible merger ahead of future elections.

They said their current decision to come together under the so-called Common Issues Platform demonstrated willingness to forge a common alliance against the country’s governing elite.

The parties were later in the day expected to take their petition to the South African embassy in Zimbabwe and the inclusive government.