BULAWAYO – Days after major political parties in Zimbabwe forged alliances, another coalition that seeks to address the plight of Matabeleland has emerged.
Alliance Khumbula Ekhaya (AKE), a virtually unknown political formation consists of Friends of Zapu Trust led by Colonel Ray Ncube, People’s Union of Matabeleland and Mthwakazi Youth Leaders Joint Resolution, among others.
AKE has fielded candidates for the senate, Parliament and local government in the upcoming harmonised elections.
The slogan “humble beginnings” is the epitome of this alliance. And while MDC and Zanu PF launched their manifestos in stadiums where thousands of supporters converged, AKE only attracted less than 50 people at its launch.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s alliance with Simba Makoni, MKD and Reketai Semwayo’s Zanu Ndonga seeks to unseat President Robert Mugabe but AKE’s main focus is regional dominance in Matabeleland.
Speaking during the unveiling of its manifesto AKE co-chairperson Bhekinkosi Mdlongwa said the coalition would foster the development of Matabeleland if voted into power.
“Other political parties which claim to solve the issues pertaining to Matabeleland are nowhere to be found,” Mdlongwa said.
“We are contesting under AKE because we want to work together for a worthy cause”.
Mdlongwa assured his supporters that the alliance would address the concerns of the people in Matabeleland and the Midlands which were predominant Zapu strongholds before the Unity Accord of 1987.
The Unity Accord ended five years of hostilities between disgruntled former Zipra combatants and members of the army and which resulted in the death of an estimated 20 000 unarmed civilians.
On the issue of peace and reconciliation in relation to the Gukurahundi atrocities — the alliance’s co-chairperson Wilson Ndiweni said the perpetrators should apologise.
“No one is happy about what happened and the perpetrators never dared to apologise,” Ndiweni said confessing his party had no strategy on how to deal with the issue when voted into the legislative assembly.
The alliance’s manifesto also spells media reforms, job creation, and devolution of power and the restoration of industry in Bulawayo.
On Tuesday MDC members who lost in the party’s primary elections, now contesting as independent candidates also formed a coalition under the banner Independent Candidates Coalition (ICC).