HARARE – Former Zanu PF politburo member Daniel Shumba has said he will launch his opposition party the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) next week in Chitungwiza.
Shumba dismissed his former allies President Emmerson Mnangagwa and ex-president Robert Mugabe as damaged goods and said he was confident of winning the elections.
The former Masvingo Central legislator told the Daily News yesterday that his party has structures across the country and will shock the so-called bigger parties.
“We are launching on Saturday, next week, in Chitungwiza, the party is going to contest for all the seats. We are popular in rural areas. Zanu PF is behind, just as is the MDC,” said Shumba.
Asked if he would beat Mnangagwa, Shumba, one of the former ruling provincial chairpersons who was axed in 2005 after attending the Tsholotsho meeting that was meant to canvass votes for the now president, said he would win by a big margin.
“Mugabe and Mnangagwa have always been the same. There is nothing to separate the two,” said Shumba.
Chucked out from Zanu PF in December last year after he was branded a member of the decapitated generation 40 (G40) faction —Shumba told the Daily News early this year that he would not join the National Patriotic Front (NPF) that is associated with Mugabe and revealed that he would actually form a political party.
This is second time that Shumba forms an opposition political party after his United People’s Party (UPP) in 2006 which was then linked to Mnangagwa, who, however, denied any links.
In 2005, Shumba and five other Zanu PF provincial chairpersons, were suspended over the Tsholotsho debacle that sought to block the elevation of Joice Mujuru to vice president in 2004 and catapult Mnangagwa to the helm.
Initially, Shumba resigned from politics in October 2009 to focus on business, before but quickly retraced his political footsteps to Zanu PF where he rose to become a politburo member.
The love-hate relationship between him and Zanu PF did not end well for him as he lost his parliamentary seat and saw his ambitions dim.
Apparently, Shumba is not happy with Mnangagwa’s government policies as well as the perceived persecution of people who were once associated with Mugabe.
He said the current administration lacked inclusivity and continued to target and persecute government officials linked to Mugabe.
He tore into Mnangagwa saying: “To start with, a national economic programme cannot be driven or owned by a cabal of vengeful people. We have to embrace the totality of nationals and strive to unlock true value for the broader good in an open, transparent, and manner that is based on merit.”
“Cosmetic statements meant to look good and impress the West will only allow for very temporal relief with no sustainable gratification. The real economic challenges ought to be dealt with firmly and without the personalisation of projects or transactions.
“Opportunities must save national interest above all. The selling off of assets disguised as investment must not be allowed. Perpetuation of the current litany of illegal transactions must be stopped.”