In their desperate effort to end President Robert Mugabe’s political longevity, leaders of opposition parties in Zimbabwe have – for now – buried their personal interests and formed a mega political front, dubbed MDC Alliance to challenge the incumbent president in the 2018 presidential election.
In a historic political union in the Zimbabwe, which is closely monitored around the world, thousands of Zimbabweans witnessed at Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare on Saturday, the first ever grand opposition alliance in Zimbabwe, formed by Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party together with seven other political party leaders and social movements aimed at ending President Mugabe’s uninterrupted 37 year rule. The attempt by the oppositions to topple the 93-year old President amidst internal squabbling and factionalism within his ruling Zanu PF party cannot be better strategized. Leaders of the new alliance, including Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC, Professor Welshman Ncube ( MDC formation), Tendai Biti of People’s Democratic Party and several others, promised to give Zimbabwe a new hope and urged Zimbabweans to back the MDC Alliance in the 2018 general elections.
However, the former vice president and leader of the National People’s Party (NPP) Joice Mujuru refused to join the MDC alliance, arguing that the Alliance, which she believes has come too soon, needs more time to settle obvious differences within the various parties, which formed the alliance. While some have questioned the Joice Mujuru’s political calculations, others have suspected her motives and alleged that her decision was purely based on her political survival. They argue that membership of the MDC alliance might dwarf Joice Mujuru politically and send her into a political oblivion. That would end Mujuru’s political ambition of becoming the president of Zimbabwe, some have argued.
Recently, the grand alliance formation had been used in different African countries to topple the incumbents. Lately, it worked perfectly in Nigeria and the Gambia, where ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years in power ended ingloriously, thanks to the grand alliance of opposition parties. However, the question is: What happens after the incumbent has been removed from power? Will members of the grand alliance bury their personal differences and fight for the common good of the citizens, whose votes helped the opposition alliance to topple the ruling party? This will be the acid test for the MDC alliance in Zimbabwe – and the result will indeed prove Joice Mujuru right or wrong.