THE leaders of the country’s various citizen movements recently met in Bulawayo to form a coalition to challenge President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in next year’s elections, New Zimbabwe.com can reveal.
Sources in the anti-government social media circles told this publication that representatives of several groups met in Bulawayo at the Centre for Innovation and Technology offices in Hillside on Tuesday and Wednesday last week and resolved to form a grand coalition.
Represented at the meeting were Tajamuka, Bulawayo Youth Arise (Buya), This Constitution, Our Constitution campaign, #This Flag, She Vote Campaign and Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe.
According to the sources, leaders of the grouping will automatically be negotiating principals in the envisaged grand coalition of “democratic forces” which will include opposition political parties.
The MDCT, the National People’s Party (NPP) and the Welshman Ncube led MDC have already signed memoranda of understanding towards the formation of the grand coalition.
“We met in Hillside last week and resolved to form a social movement coalition. If all goes according to our plans, we will be launching the grand coalition in Bulawayo on the 13 of May at Stanley Square in Makokoba while the Harare the launch will be on the 20th of May at a venue still to be advised.
“After the launch, the social movements will come we will come up with a leadership which will represent the movement’s interests in the inclusive coalition of democrats,” said a member of one of the groups.
Another source close to the developments said during the meeting which was chaired by pastor Evan Mawarire of This Flag, Matebeleland-based pressure groups led by Abigail Mupambi of leader of “This Constitution, Our Constitution campaign” were sceptical of the coalition deal.
“During the meeting, it was clear that the Bulawayo team had issues with the calibre and sincerity of some of the people behind this coalition. “During the entire meetings, representatives of the Bulawayo constituency kept quiet until they were provoked to contribute their views,” he said.
“As social movements, we have been doing the political bulldozing but we have been getting the cramps at the political table. “We have now realized the need and importance of coalescing together and combine the voices of our issues.”
Efforts to get a comment from Mawarire were not successful, but Buya coordinator Mthokozisi Ncube confirmed the meeting and as well as plans to form the coalition.
“Yes, it’s true that the social movements are intending to form a grand coalition,” said Ncube in a telephone interview.
“In fact, on Tuesday (this week) there will be a comprehensive statement which will be issued concurrently in Harare and Bulawayo with regards to the issue which you have raised. “At the present moment in time, I cannot however, reveal further details before the statement.”