By Costa Nkomo
TOP MDC-T official Elias Mudzuri Friday said President Emmerson Mnangagwa was fronting a Zanu PF military government that would not relinquish power if it lost in national elections.
Mudzuri was speaking at the launch of his MDC-T presidential campaign at his residence in Harare’s Milton Park suburb ahead of the opposition party’s much-awaited extraordinary congress slated for December this year.
The former energy minister said the only option left for opposition parties in Zimbabwe to gain state power was through engaging and negotiating with the military.
“Once we engage and talk, and there is trust between the military and the political groupings, it is easier to take power,” said Mudzuri.
“As you know, you cannot take power without the consent of the military, and right now we have a military government whether you like it or not. We have to negotiate power with the powers that be. Even if you have almost 100 percent votes, you may not get power.”
In 2008, MDC-T presidential candidate, the now late Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to negotiate for an inclusive government with also now late Robert Mugabe.
This was after Tsvangirai had won the first round of the presidential election, but was forced to pull out of the second round after the military and Zanu PF militia unleashed violence against his supporters.
Tsvangirai was later made to accept a less influential position of Prime Minister, months after hundreds of his party supporters were murdered in the run-up to the settlement.
“To understand this (that we have a military junta), one needs to understand who brought Mnangagwa into power?”
Mnangagwa rose to power in a military-backed coup in November 2017 toppling his then-boss, the now late President Robert Mugabe.
He went on to appoint the then army commander, Constantino Chiwenga as vice president. Several other army generals were appointed ministers or diplomats.
“Through the inclusive thorough process of research, and consultation, we must adapt from the confrontational approach to persuasion, engagement, unification, and bridging gaps to achieve economic, social, and political reforms,” said Mudzuri.
The Harare senator is likely to face stiff challenge from the current interim MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe, secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, and chairperson Morgen Komichi who are also interested in the position.
However, Mudzuri pleaded with the MDC-T 2014 structures to elect him at the forthcoming extraordinary congress saying he was the “best foot forward” to steer the opposition following the death of founding leader, Tsvangirai.
The former Prime Minister died in February 2018.