BY TAURAI MANGUDHLA
One of late former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s ex-advisors Maxwell Shumba says he will contest the 2023 presidential elections using public welfare as his major selling point.
The United States based politician Maxwell Shumba, who served as Tsvangirai’s chief strategist, now leads a political outfit known as Zimbabwe People First (ZimFirst).
Zanu PF has already endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the party presidential candidate, His nemesis, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa is likely to square off with Mnangagwa who won the 2018 polls with a slight margin.
Among Shumba’s main arguments is that Zimbabwe needs a party that brings together the Diaspora community, and those at home as key stakeholders in charting the future of the country.
“ZimFirst is a people first party that is founded on principles of accountability, honesty and unity.
“Our key message to the Zimbabwean people is we put forward the people’s welfare because people come first,” Shumba said.
“Our core message to the people of Zimbabwe is that we got independence yes and we need to unite to fight the war against poverty that has afflicted the majority of citizens because of Zanu PF, corruption, greed (and) incompetence.
“ZimFirst has come with a leadership that is untainted, clean, and fresh.
“I urge Zimbabweans that this election presents them with an opportunity to elect a leader with proven technological expertise, global experience and a heart for the people.”
Shumba said his party’s campaign strategy was founded on a deep understanding of how Zanu PF works and how it manages to stay in power despite the majority of citizens rejecting it.
“We do have a strategy for them that is beyond merely holding rallies to show off supporters.
“We launched a Silent Revolution (Chimhukutira/Umtshetsha Phansi). Chimhukutira is a unique strategy that was developed based on experience of past opposition failures to defeat Zanu PF.
“I cannot divulge the details of our strategy, but I would like the nation to know that ZimFirst is here with a transformative vision for the country and ask for their support because together we will make Zimbabwe work again.”
Shumba failed to contest in the 2018 elections as his party was still in its infancy.
“Our target is to build a critical mass that will bear pressure on the Zanu PF government to agree on the much needed electoral reforms that are key for free and fair elections,” he said.
“We have a roadmap and we are on track. We intend to launch our ground game (campaign) at some point.”
The party is using its own resources from members to fund operations and activities,” Shumba said.
“We are apprehensive that launching a national campaign is a mammoth task financially, but I am very confident that we will be equal to the task because as Zimbabweans begin to familiarise with our vision, our seriousness, and our thought driven methodical approach they will come on board en masse.”
“We believe people come first so with this commitment we are prepared to fund our campaign with our own resources and we will mobilise enough resources for the needs of our campaign.”