Dr Dabengwa said Zapu and the MDC Alliance had signed a Memorandum of Political Co-operation Agreement that saw his party not fielding a presidential candidate and backing Mr Chamisa.
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The Zapu president said the decision comes after efforts to forge a Grand National Coalition failed due to competition to land the presidential candidate post.
“A united front of opposition parties has failed mainly because of competition for the top post of presidential candidate, yet it’s essential to enhance the capacity of one of the opposition leaders to take over the country’s presidency.
“My party is therefore throwing its weight behind Chamisa as the presidential candidate in the 2018 elections, for which I’m not standing,” said Dr Dabengwa.
“This is consistent with the line we have taken that personal egos and vanity should not be allowed to prevent us from crafting a combination capable of bringing about a democratic transition essential for peace, security, economic reconstruction and development. Zimbabweans deserve this, both current and future generations.”
He said in terms of the agreement, the two parties remain autonomous and Zapu will continue to campaign for its candidates.
Dr Dabengwa said the two parties will ensure that they do not compete against each other in some parliamentary seats.
“In addition, the MDC Alliance will reserve some agreed slots for Zapu among those chosen to be on the basis of proportional representation.
“For my part I’ll actively support the candidacy of Nelson Chamisa and be at hand to support if he wins the presidential contest, as I earnestly hope. Our candidates too will include in their campaigns the party’s commitments to co-operation agreement and the presidency of Chamisa,” he said.
In April, Dr Dabengwa was endorsed by Zapu members as the opposition party’s presidential candidate after cutting ties with the Coalition of Democrats (Code) – a coalition of opposition parties.
Former MDC-T senior member and Energy Minister during the inclusive government from 2009 to 2013, Mr Elton Mangoma is the Code presidential candidate.