By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
14 May 2014
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai still remains politically relevant and any plans to exclude him from a grand coalition to fight ZANU PF will be doomed, his chief political strategist said on Wednesday.
Dr Maxwell Shumba said it is unthinkable that a man whose party is the main opposition in Parliament, with over 80 seats, will be deemed unfit to be invited to join the coalition.
There have been discussions lately among opposition forces for the formation of a grand coalition of political parties, after realizing it will be futile for them to approach the next elections in 2018 in a divided fashion
However, while other leaders have signaled they are prepared to join such a coalition, MDC-N leader Welshman Ncube has made it clear he will not be involved if Tsvangirai is included.
But Shumba said: ‘Tsvangirai is the heart beat of opposition politics in Zimbabwe. It must be understood that his influence extends beyond tribal lines. His following is nationwide; his fight for change resonates well with the poor.’
The strategist told our weekly Hidden Story program that while the MDC-T ‘lost’ last year’s elections, Tsvangirai’s stature is by no means diminishing, but is very much alive and presenting a formidable challenge to the ruling ZANU PF government.
‘You can only ignore such a person at your own peril. He is by no means finished, in fact any coalition in Zimbabwe will have to revolve around the MDC-T because of its huge support base,’ he said.
Shumba dismissed suggestions that the MDC-T will struggle to sustain its fight against President Robert Mugabe’s party because of dwindling support from donors.
‘Donor or no donor, the MDC-T will continue to exist. It is not donor driven but is driven by ZANU PF failures to give Zimbabweans a better life, jobs, medicines and food,’ added Shumba.