By Dylan Murambgi
Harare, December 03, 2016 – THIRTEEN local opposition parties have confirmed their meeting in Cape Town, South Africa where they agreed to go ahead with forming a coalition ahead of the 2018 elections.
The meeting was being facilitated by a South African thinktank which was in Zimbabwe few days ago meeting leaders of local opposition parties.
Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) have refused to join the meeting.
Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Simba Makoni told the media on behalf of the parties on Friday the parties spent four days in Cape Town discussing on how to form a loose merger for 2018.
The former finance minister said they all agreed to take a stand against the country’s deteriorating socio-economic crisis, political victimisation, corruption, among some of the ills associated with the current Zanu PF led government.
“The parties further recognise the unhappy state of a weak and splintered political opposition that has, so far, failed to coordinate a serious response to the Zimbabwean crisis,” Makoni said.
“In light of the foregoing, we therefore, commit ourselves to building a broad coalition of political parties, in order to create the Zimbabwe we want.
“We are committed to do all that is necessary to achieve this noble objective, whose time has come, for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.”
Makoni said the parties are going to meet before the end of the year to finalise the modalities of the loose merger.
“We also commit to reach out to other leaders from different sectors in our nation,” Makoni said.
However, speaking on separate occasions, the MDC-T and ZimPF on Friday said they would never attend a meeting whose agenda they knew little about.
Makoni played down sentiments the coalition was inadequate without the two major parties saying every party in Zimbabwe was key to playing a part in efforts to end Zanu PF’s continued hold on power.
The parties include African Democratic Party, Democratic Assembly of Restoration and empowerment, Free Zimbabwe Congress, Freedom Front, Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Transform Zimbabwe, Zanu Ndonga, Zimbabwe United for Democracy and Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu.
They also include Tendai Biti’s PDP, Welshman Ncube’s MDC and Makoni’s MKD.