PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has teamed up with Simba Makoni of Mavambo Kusile and Reketai Semwayo of Zanu Ndonga to form a “Coalition for Change” which would be fronted by the MDC-T leader in elections set for the end of the month.
“The MDC-T, MKD and Zanu Ndonga have today agreed to enter into a ‘coalition for change’ in order to offer solutions to the problems facing the country,” read a joint statement by the three parties, which was delivered by Makoni at a press briefing in Harare Monday.
The three leaders however, said they remained open to a possible eleventh hour pact with MDC leader Welshman Ncube and Dr Dumiso Dabengwa of Zapu who, last week, announced a surprise pact between their parties.
“The coming together of these parties has been necessitated by the shared commitment to bring to an end the current hardships confronting Zimbabweans, due to the failed policies of the past,” the three leaders said, adding, “The parties have agreed to support and campaign for one Presidential candidate, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.
“The parties now call upon like-minded organisations, and all Zimbabweans, to join, and or rally behind this coalition for change, in order to achieve real freedom, justice, happiness and prosperity for all, under a new democratic dispensation.”
The parties further agreed to “support each other in national assembly and local authority elections and constitute a genuine government of national unity after winning the elections”.
The so-called Coalition for Change also agreed to “constitute a lean and competent executive team of not more than 25 cabinet members including the presidency” should they win the elections.
Asked if there was any possibility of a wider pact involving the Ncube and Dabengwa, Makoni said they were ready to continue with the spirit they displayed when they teamed up as five parties to oppose President Robert Mugabe’s unilateral declaration of an election date a few weeks ago.
“We have continued to discuss not only about the Constitutional Court ruling and the SADC Extra Ordinary summit but we were hoping to be five at this table today and this is why we conclude this statement by maintaining our willingness and readiness to work with others, including professor Welshman Ncube,” said Makoni.
The former finance minister refused to respond to a question on how his contribution was going to bring weight to the coalition saying he will address this at a press briefing specific to his party.
Tsvangirai admitted the playing field was not level but was adamant he will lead his team to victory.
“We are not living in the ideal world we know that. This is not idealism. In spite of all those setbacks and obstacles we will overcome,” he said.
Tsvangirai said the “national mood” was telling him to participate in the July 31 poll despite serious misgivings over the freeness of the election.
"The people are determined inspite of the obstacles. This is a democratic struggle and the people know that their journey in achieving democracy in the country has not been easy especially where you are confronted with tyrannical dictatorial conditions.
“How do you remove a dictator using democratic means. It’s not easy. It has never been easy, it’s not going to be easy but we have faith in the confidence that has been expressed nationally and it is on that basis that we will go in," he said.