Opposition ready for unity, Mangoma: ZIMBABWE’S opposition political parties are ready to forge a united front in attempts to end Zanu PF rule which has brought intense suffering to citizens, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe president, Elton Mangoma, has said.
Mangoma was fielding questions from journalists at a press briefing at his party’s Milton Park premises in Harare this week.
This follows a joint statement issued by eight mainstream opposition parties on Monday to coincide with the country’s 36th Independence Day celebrations.
In the statement, the parties pledged to work together to relieve the country of the current hardships and corruption brought by 36 years of Zanu PF rule under President Robert Mugabe.
“We the democratic opposition political parties on this our Independence Day pledge to the people of Zimbabwe our commitment to work together with the people to find collective and common solutions to restore our national economy; deliver secure land rights to our people; restore the country’s status as the bread basket of Africa,” said the opposition parties.
They also pledged to “end to corruption; restore the dignity of the people and respect for their fundamental freedoms, liberties and rights underpinned by unqualified respect for the rule of law, justice and equality of all citizens; restore business ethics; food security; attract new investment and capital”.
The parties included Marcelina Chikasha’s African Democratic Party, Gilbert Dzikiti’s Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (DARE), Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile as well as the two MDC formations led by Welshman Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai.
Also part of the joint statement were Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA, Dumiso Dabengwa ZAPU, Farai Mbira’s Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE) and Elton Mangoma’s Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe.
Asked if this was a sign by political rivals they were ready to form a coalition against Zanu PF, Mangoma said they are “slowly finding each other”.
“Efforts to find each other are on-going, but certainly for us to issue a joint statement it means that there is a certain level of collaboration that would have taken place because you do not just issue out someone’s name without consulting them,” he said.
“So, we think that it was an important step, whether we will continue to find each other depends on what else comes up.”
Mangoma, who is former MDC-T deputy treasurer general, and Tendai Biti, the now PDP opposition leader and former MDC-T secretary general, masterminded the 2014 MDC-T split citing poor leadership by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Since then, the two allies turned rivals have declared in, separate for a, never to work with Tsvangirai again, dismissing his as a “pseudo democrat”.
Their new stance is a significant departure from their entrenched positions.