Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition the Movement for Democratic Change party led by Morgan Tsvangirai has called on all opposition parties in the country to put aside "petty personal squabbles" and unite behind one banner in the upcoming 2018 elections.
In a statement, the MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the opposition parties "are stronger together" and that the 2018 polls were their final chance to get rid of the "Zanu-PF dictatorship fronted by President Robert Mugabe".
"From being the breadbasket of southern Africa just a few years ago, Zimbabwe has degenerated into a basket case; a banana republic that doesn't have its own national currency and a country where more than 90% of the population survive on less than US$1 per day. Such has been the tragic and depressing story of Zimbabwe under the tutelage of one of the world's most intolerant and oppressive dictators, Robert Mugabe," said Gutu.
Gutu's remarks came after ex- vice president now the leader of the opposition National People's Party, Joice Mujuru demanded that the name Movement for Democratic Change be removed from the grand coalition set to challenge Mugabe in the 2018 elections.
Mujuru said that although she supported the grand coalition, she was not going to be part of it if the name MDC was being adopted as the coalition name.
Mugabe's oppressive regime
"As long as the coalition has an MDC name, I am not part of it, but I would be happy if we meet and give it a different name," Mujuru was quoted as saying at the time.
Gutu, however, said that negotiations between the country’s opposition parties were still on-going.
He said the country’s future was now in the hands of Zimbabweans who would be given a chance to build afresh after decades of Mugabe's oppressive regime.
"Granted, negotiations for a final opposition coalition are still on-going but we should seize this opportunity to give the brutal, insipidly and rabidly corrupt Zanu-PF regime the sucker punch in next year’s elections.
"It is horrendous to even imagine another five years under the Zanu-PF regime after next year's elections. We have to coalesce and find each other as we seek to liberate the toiling masses of our motherland," he said.
The MDC spokesperson described the 2018 presidential elections as "a choice between enhanced political repression and socio-economic trepidation as represented by Zanu-PF and a refreshing new trajectory of political freedom and socio–economic regeneration and progress as represented by the MDC Alliance".
"Going forward, the MDC Alliance should strenuously fight for electoral reforms because we know that Zanu PF is extremely reluctant to reform itself out of power. The battle for electoral reforms should now be the rallying and clarion call for the MDC Alliance. We are confronting a vapid, rabid and vacuous Zanu PF dictatorship that is prepared to break the bank in order to retain political power," added Gutu.
Reports last month indicated that Tsvangirai had re-united with his former allies.
At a rally in August in the capital, Tsvangirai told supporters he was joining forces with two former deputies.
Tsvangirai said at the time that he had agreed to an alliance with former MDC deputy Welshman Ncube and close aide Tendai Biti, as well as four other opposition factions.
"This coalition is to stop fragmentation. Mugabe will have no excuse to rig (the election) if we are united," he was quoted as saying at the time.
In 2008, Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in the first round of voting, but lost in a run-off marred by violence and intimidation, including the killing of scores of opposition activists.