By Staff Reporter
COALITION of Democrats (CODE) presidential candidate, Elton Mangoma says he been saddened by ZAPU’s to withdraw from the alliance ahead of general elections scheduled for this July.
ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa announced last week that his party was pulling out of CODE as political parties under this banner were unmarketable to the electorate.
The decision that shocked other CODE leaders as it was made only a day before coalition launched its election campaign for the 2018 elections in Harare.
“We have come to the painful conclusion that our presence in CODE will not serve the realization of our goals and aspirations,” said Dabengwa.
“There are several grounds for this assessment in our structures, but the most important one which triggers the timing of the pull-out is that our structures have reported difficulties in marketing the coalition to those who support or sympathise with ZAPU.”
However, Mangoma, who is the president of the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ), said, although CODE was a democratic institution, it was sad for them to part ways with Dabengwa’s ZAPU.
“It is sad indeed that they (ZAPU) have decided to pull-out,” said Mangoma.
“As you know we have always worked on democratic principles to try to have all Zimbabweans work together in a framework in which we all share leadership.
“It is obviously sad if those you work with decide to go their separate ways. But we are democrats and we have enjoyed working with ZAPU and we have learnt their good and strong points.”
The CODE leader was also unhappy over alleged reports that the Zanu PF government had provided cash to transport CODE delegates to the launch of its elections campaign last Saturday.
The source of these funds was also raised by Dabengwa.
“In the run-up to the CODE launch, security-related concerns reached alarming levels in what could amount to State capture either through commission or by default in the sourcing of funds, hence our decision to abstain from the launch,” said Dabengwa.
“We are determined that we should not be compromised by unclear or suspicious benefactors just because our own resources were commandeered by the ruling regime for fictitious reasons.
“We have survived against the odds because we are not anybody’s project but depend on our own efforts to survive.”
However, Mangoma, in dismissing the claims, said he was the last person Zanu PF would consider funding.
“Some people say something just because they think everyone is stupid,” said the former energy minister.
“Why would a person like me get anything from Zanu PF? I am someone who has consistently castigated Zanu PF.
“So, why would I get something from Zanu PF and for the record Zanu PF knows too well and has never tried to give me anything.
“Those people must give us a break and if there is anyone who has any proof that we got money from Zanu PF, please bring it out.
“We are not going to deal with aspersions that are completely empty (of substance).”
Mangoma’s group is one of three major alliances that will challenge Zanu PF in the forthcoming elections.
The other two broad coalitions include the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa and the People’s Rainbow Coalition led by Joice Mujuru.