THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP)has blasted MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s decision to shut out smaller opposition parties from a proposed grand coalition, saying the move would further weaken the opposition camp ahead of the 2018 general elections.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Wednesday, PDP deputy president, Kucaca Phulu, described the MDC-T suggestion as “an axis of exclusion”.
“You have got to make a distinction between a coalition for winning elections and a coalition for governance,” he said.
“I saw a party that issued a statement with some of these elements, most of which I agreed with. However, in terms if inclusivity, that is where we have a problem. It is wrong to say, Party X you are so small, I cannot listen to you.
“The problems that we had between 1980 and now, leading to such tragedies as Gukurahundi, were mainly due to lack of inclusivity, when some people say they are the majority, they have the people. Today, we hear reiteration of that same theme; that only we have the people, only we can rule.”
Tsvangirai on Tuesday issued a statement laying out the party’s terms for the grand coalition, where he embraced the Welshman Ncube-led MDC and Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First.
Phulu said his party was building structures with the aim of participating in the 2018 polls. “If there will be an election at all, I don’t know whether there is going to be an election in 2018 or not, hopefully, it is going to be there, and if there is an election, and if all the young people are registered, if all those eligible to vote are registered, then we are ready for that election because our structures are in place, our policies are in place, we know what we want to say to the people, we know how to say it to them, we know how to reach the people,” he said.
“We have shadow councillors already in place in many of the districts. We are also appointing shadow MPs. We work according to programmes. We are a programmatic party. We are clear about what we want to do, and we have a clear vision for this country.”
Phulu insisted that a well-thought-out and inclusive coalition was the best bet in defeating President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
“If someone were to ask me what I think about machinations to form a coalition and exclude the PDP, I will say: Surprising. I would hope that, that is not the case because we believe that as PDP, we have a lot to offer. We are a party that is organised, with reasonably formed structures. The charge that we are new and untested is false because our politicians are tested. How can you say the former mayor here [PDP vice-chairperson, Thaba Moyo] is untested as a politician?”