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‘Opposition coalition needs Mujuru, Tsvangirai’

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HARARE – A respected South Africa-based think tank has said the recently-signed Coalition of Democrats (Code) by five “fringe” opposition political parties, must include political heavyweights such as Morgan Tsvangirai and ex-vice president Joice Mujuru,  if the pact is to win against President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 general elections.

Code is the name of the pact that was signed on Tuesday by Simba Makoni’s Mavambo Kusile Dawn (MKD), Elton Mangoma’s Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Welshman Ncube’s MDC, Zimbabwe United for Democracy and the Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (Dare).

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Cape Town-based NKC African Economics (NKC), said Code needs to attract Tsvangirai’s MDC, Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (Zim PF) and Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP), if it is to provide a meaningful challenge to Zanu PF.

“The formation of Code is an important development in Zimbabwe party politics, but the new formation has some way to go yet before it poses a realistic challenge to Zanu PF and…Mugabe.

“Important to its prospects would be the inclusion of the major opposition groupings such as MDC and ZPF, in particular.

“Without at least one of these, the chances of success come 2018 will fall away.

“Preferably, the coalition needs both. What the development does suggest…is that the fundamentals in Zimbabwe’s political environment are shifting and the once invincible Zanu PF is shedding support at a potentially fatal rate.”

The organisation also said the inclusion of Biti’s PDP in the pact might be of significance.

“…Mujuru… would bring military backing and widespread support to the table,” NKC said.

It also further noted the non-inclusion of the Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zimbabwe African People’s Union, adding that even though all the political parties have not rejected the possibility of joining Code, the integration process is complicated.

“Egos and claims on overall leadership will be key issues. It would also be a consideration for parties such as ZPF whether their interests would be best served by joining or going it alone,” NKC’s commentary said.

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