THE MDC-T renewal team yesterday said moves towards a grand coalition with other progressive democratic forces in the country to unseat the ruling Zanu PF in the 2018 elections were taking shape.
The team’s interim chairperson Samuel Sipepa Nkomo told journalists in Harare that the party was engaging churches, political parties, civic society and other democrats to form a formidable force against President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
He said their idea had found takers in the country, region and the international community.
Sipepa Nkomo said talks had been held with the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, Zapu led by Dumiso Dabengwa as well as Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn led by Simba Makoni.
Efforts were being made to engage the National Constitutional Assembly led by University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Lovemore Madhuku.
“I do know that a preliminary meeting has been held and we have agreed in principle that it will be good to work together in a grand coalition. Hopefully next week we will hold a second meeting on the issues and hope to agree that it’s futile to work separately hoping to get results,” Sipepa Nkomo said.
On whether MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai would be part of the arrangement, Sipepa Nkomo said: “This coalition is a coalition for democrats and all democrats are welcome. The criterion is one must be a democrat and if the party you refer to is democratic and not violent, they are welcome.”
Sipepa Nkomo said the Mandel declaration, which led to the suspension of Tsvangirai and other members of the standing committee, stood as it was done within the confines of the party’s constitution.
Sipepa Nkomo also condemned the brief detention of Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya over the alleged theft of MDC-T property as a legal nullity.
“How can someone steal property that belongs to him? That is a nullity and you see he was released because really, there was no issue,” said Sipepa Nkomo.
He said following the announcement by Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, last Thursday that the MDC-T factions must fight their case in court, more MPs and councillors had indicated their intention to join the renewal team.
Sipepa Nkomo challenged Zanu PF to engage other stakeholders, including foreign investors, the church, political parties, labour and business for a national indaba on how the current economic downslide could be halted.
MDC-T treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, who also attended the Press conference, said the party had met diplomats accredited to Africa last week to explain their position and how they intended moving forward.