OPPOSITION MDC leader Welshman Ncube has warned against the formation of a grand coalition for the sole purpose of defeating President Robert Mugabe, saying such a project was bound to collapse soon after the elections.
Ncube, whose own party has been rocked by mass resignations, said there was “too much obsession with removing Mugabe” from power and “yet there is no clear programme of action afterwards”.
Addressing journalists at Bulawayo Press Club last Thursday, Ncube said there were “too many unknown quantities” in the opposition space, who are keen to grab any opportunity that avails itself.
“That commitment of coming together has been expressed in word and conduct in engaging others. With a background of history, it’s next to impossible to have coalitions on the eve of an election. If you are not able to do it well in advance, at least a year or two before the next election and to try and put up a house in the middle of a thunderstorm, it’s difficult,” he said.
This comes amid growing calls among opposition parties to form a grand coalition ahead of the 2018 elections to challenge the ruling Zanu PF party. The project, however, looks set to suffer a stillbirth as there was a lot of mistrust among opposition leaders.
Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru has warmed up to the idea of coalescing with other opposition parties, but the latter seems not keen to join hands with her, citing her “soiled political history” as a former top official of the ruling party.
“If all that all we share is to see the back of Zanu PF and President Mugabe, you can sense the problem we have. What has dominated our politics of everyone who is not in Zanu PF is the obsession of removing Mugabe,” Ncube said.
“If we remove him (Mugabe) what do we do afterwards? I believe that if all that binds us is to defeat Mugabe, that coalition won’t survive even if it won (elections). I am afraid of the desperation among other players. That’s not how coalitions are built.”