THE major opposition parties in Zimbabwe, buoyed by their newly-found unity, are confident of dislodging veteran President Robert Mugabe from power during next year’s election. The buoyancy follows a historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Mugabe’s former deputy, Joice Mujuru, and his longtime rival, former prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai in the capital Harare.
It seals a coalition between the National People’s Party and the Movement for Democratic respectively. “We should all stand together in unison and say enough is enough. As Mugabe enters the sunset of his life, it is incumbent upon all of us to pick the pieces and rebuild our country together,” said Tsvangirai. Mujuru was equally upbeat Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, would be defeated.
“This is just a roadmap of how we shall move from here to the Promised Land,” she declared. Several other opposition, comprising former finance minister Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party, Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zimbabwe African Peoples Union and other factions of MDC are expected to join the coalition. The unity by the opposition is seen as the biggest threat to Mugabe’s controversial and lengthy reign. Revered as a liberator early into his reign, he is accused of transforming into a dictator that destroyed Zimbabwe from a breadbasket to a curse. A lack of unity among the opposition, violence by his supporters and electoral fraud have been cited as key to the 93-year-old’s longevity in power. Zimbabwe has a reputation for corruption and gross violations of human rights. Millions have fled the country, a majority to South Africa.