Former Finance Minister and People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti says the proposed coalition of Zimbabwe’s opposition parties has not agreed on a leader yet and any one of the leaders of the 15 “serious” parties involved in the talks can become a leader.
According to The Herald, he told the Bulawayo Press Club that the parties were serious about the talks because “everyone understands that none of us can defeat ZANU-PF on our own, we have to create a team”.
Biti broke away from Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change in 2014 over leadership differences after Tsvangirai had lost the presidential elections for the second time having pulled out of the second round of the 2008 elections which he had won in the first round.
Tsvangirai’s MDC-T insists that he should lead any coalition because he has the necessary support.
His supporters too feel Tsvangirai should lead any coalition. Some even argue that there is no need for a coalition. Other parties should just join MDC-T.
Zimbabwe is holding elections next year with opinion polls showing that Mugabe is likely to win despite squabbles within his party.
Biti said though a leader had not yet been decided, opposition parties were serious about the coalition talks.
“People are finding each other. There is sincerity in the discussions that have been taking place,” he said.
As for the leader, he said: “I’m very hopeful and I think when every leader goes into that room, they should accept that the next leader can be the leader. Any candidate in the coalition is a saleable candidate.
“Morgan Tsvangirai is a saleable candidate, Joice Mujuru is a saleable candidate, Welshman Ncube (MDC) is a saleable candidate, Tendai Biti is a saleable candidate and can lead the coalition.
“We are going to choose, we are going to have discussions around leadership and I don’t think that the leadership is going to bog us down.”