Engage grassroots on coalition: Dabengwa

BULAWAYO – Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa has said coalition talks should not only involve opposition political parties but the grassroots too saying they were major stakeholders in the whole initiative.

During a presentation at a Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRIZ)-organised event, Dabengwa highlighted the need to engage the grassroots for a successful alliance of opposition parties to unseat President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.

With Zimbabwe’s general election scheduled for next year, opposition politicians are doing everything they can to position themselves for a successful tilt at the presidency.

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“We need to be able to come up with the right presidential candidate. Show us which leader that people will bond with,” Dabengwa said.

“Your (ordinary people) views or suggestions are still much welcome. But be careful of choosing a candidate who will refuse to make way for others,” he said.

The Zapu leader said it was time Zimbabweans put their heads together to unseat the Zanu PF government.

“We welcome arrangements that do not swallow our identity, if you have suggestions you can bring them forward not only to us but other parties as well. This is a necessary step.

“This is the time Zimbabweans must put heads together to come up with a solution.”

The former Home Affairs minister said due diligence was needed before any finalisation on coalition could be done.

“Who should be in the coalition? What threshold can be used? Will this coalition include those briefcase parties? When forming a coalition do you bring all those people?

“We have to do due diligence before we include those who have no other structure or membership,” he said.

Dabengwa said it was also important that the coalition must not be built on removing Zanu PF alone but also how to ensure a successful transition that will see a better life for long-suffering Zimbabweans.

“The important question we have been asking ourselves is having a coalition for what purpose.

“We finally agreed to empower long-suffering masses of Zimbabwe, not only to wrest power from Zanu PF but to create an environment that will lead to prosperity for all,” he said.

He added: “However, the amount of greed and overextended ambitions have left me with no option, even if we had a successful coalition, we still need an idea of a national transitional authority that will come in to do what is necessary before politicians come in.”

Analysts have questioned the feasibility of a coalition noting that the opposition is plagued by deep-seated suspicions, distrust and petty jealousies and there is no unifying common history, beliefs and values or ideology except a quest for power.

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