Zimbabwe’s opposition parties have been urged to unite and coalesce around one candidate in order to defeat the ruling Zanu PF party at the 2023 elections.
The call was made by former Deputy Prime Minister in the inclusive government, Arthur Mutambara, last Thursday during a virtual public discussion hosted by the Southern Africa Political Economy Series (Sapes) Trust under the topic “The stampede towards 2023 Elections: Is History about to repeat itself again in Zimbabwe?
Professor Arthur Mutambara said that the opposition must unite to avoid splitting votes ahead of the critical elections.
“When you are divided, you provide plausible rationale for rigging. Don’t give the regime plausible rationale for rigging. Unity is more than just adding the votes of your supporters,” he said.
The Former Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister added that President Mnangagwa uses excessive force to deal with the opposition party insisting that the Zanu Pf first secretary always resorts to strong arm tactics whenever he feels that his power is threatened.
“Mnangagwa believes in violence using falsified military intelligence and they are using the same strategy against the opposition. Mnangagwa is a man of limited ability and talents in every respect with profound insecurity.
He is a President who used to be a violent hatchet man for Mugabe and now he is a hatchet man for himself who is an unimaginative, primitive tribalist steeped in clansman politics.” said the robotics Professor.
Meanwhile former Zanu PF politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo said Zimbabwean elections since 1980 always had a disputed outcomes.
“There has been a very systematic programme by the securocrats to shift politics from everyday engagement and contestation to a security-driven process, where fear grips the nation. The State does not want citizens to engage in political life,” Moyo said.
Six civilians were shot dead on August 1, 2018, during post-election protests and another 17 died as a result of the security forces crackdown resulting from the January 2019 fuel riots, according to human rights organizations.
However divisions have been the albatross around the opposition’s neck and continue to haunt it as exemplified by the 2008 harmonized elections in which then incumbent President, the late Robert Mugabe was defeated by his nemesis, the late veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who garnerd 47.9% against Mugabe’s 43,2% while Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn’s Simba Makoni got 8% in the first round resulting in Tsvangirai failing to get an outright victory which by Zimbabwean law should be 50% plus 1 vote. The opposition went on to win the parliamentary elections with Tsvangirai’s MDC T getting 99 seats while the smaller MDC M then led by Professor Mutambara snatched 10 ith Zanu Pf winning 98.
This was the first time that the ruling party had lost it’s parliamentary majority since independence in 1980.