April demo could make Tsvangirai big-headed- UK publication says


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The 14 April demonstration in Harare, which was described as the biggest protest against President Robert Mugabe in more than a decade, could make Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai big-headed, preferring to confront Mugabe on his own because he has the numbers.

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has already been quoted as saying: “We have shown that we have the numbers. Anyone who wants a coalition with us has to bring in the numbers.”

According to the British confidential newsletter, Africa Confidential, the protest has bolstered Tsvangirai that he can face Mugabe without a coalition.

Mugabe has already been endorsed as the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front candidate for 2018, though his health could fail him.

ZANU-PF is riddled with factionalism which war veterans tried to cool down but, it appears, with little success.

The London confidential says though Tsvangirai publicly suggests that he is willing to enter into a grand coalition or alliance, he has privately confided to his lieutenants that no coalition will succeed without him at the top.

Tsvangirai has also been bolstered by the fact that the only opposition party that threatened to supplant him as the main opposition leader, the Zimbabwe People First, seems to be losing its steam.

“The ZPF arrived on the political scene with a bang, announcing that it had set up structures all over the country, a feat even the MDC-T has failed to achieve.,” Africa Confidential says.

“However, it's now running out of steam, although its leaders say they are busy organising. It is doing very poorly in Bulawayo and Matebeleland, a traditional stronghold of the MDC-T. Two rallies in Bulawayo failed dismally, putting on hold plans for major rallies elsewhere.”

The money people thought would flood ZPF has not come and the structures that the party claimed it had set-up throughout the country do not seem to be there.

But ZPF remains a threat. There are fears that if Tsvangirai snubs his former colleagues, Mujuru could take advantage.

“If Tsvangirai continues to snub his former allies, some fear Mujuru will take advantage and try to bring them into a grand coalition that could bolster her standing as the 'mother of the opposition'. Ncube said informal talks were already under way on a coalition with Mujuru. This was also confirmed by PDP officials who declined to be identified,” Africa Confidential says.

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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