People First hits stormy waters

Source: People First hits stormy waters | The Herald June 10, 2016

Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor
Zimbabwe People First led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru appears headed for a split as senior members are haggling over positions and the ideology it must pursue.

ZPF, which was formed earlier this year, has revolved around Mujuru, who was expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF last year along the likes of Messrs Didymus Mutasa (formerly Zanu-PF secretary for Administration), Rugare Gumbo (Information and Publicity) plus a horde of other party and Government stalwarts.

The party is scheduled to hold its inaugural congress later this year.

However, a rift has grown over leadership of the party between a clique close to Mujuru, which includes former Energy Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and former Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and other members.

It is understood that Mutasa and Gumbo want to be careened by Mujuru into senior positions like vice president and chairman, but this has not gone down well with the others who want not only the positions to be elected, but also that Mutasa and Gumbo be given ceremonial roles in what is dubbed a “Council of Elders”.

Yesterday, deputy spokesperson of the party, Retired Lt Col Kudzai Mbudzi brought the war out in the open slating Mutasa and Gumbo for holding Mujuru “hostage”.

He said Mujuru could not constitutionally “anoint” leaders in the party, nor was she the “one centre of power” in the party.

“There are . . . some people who are trying by all means to hold Mai Mujuru hostage so that she glorifies their appointments into certain positions,” said Rtd Col Mbudzi in a statement.

“If she resists those attempts on constitutional grounds, sometimes they overreact and become slow to visualise and internalise her long-term objectives. If some individuals would not circumstantially see reason to take a much deserved rest, we urge them to go through the mill at the national elective congress. We must be categorical that we allow people to aspire for any position within the party, even that of being the party president.

“If anyone wants to challenge our chosen brand Mai Mujuru for the party presidency, one is free to do so at the national convention. But alas, Mai Mujuru does not have the power, mandate nor authority to anoint the appointment of certain individuals into their preferred positions,” he added.

Rtd Col Mbudzi urged Mutasa to form his own party if he wanted a lofty position for “his pleasurable personal ego”.

“We have come together from all walks of political life to push for the total liberation and freedom of Zimbabwe and not for liberation of certain individuals towards a pleasurable life of glorious plunder of national resources masked by slogans of a people’s struggle.

“About forming a political party, I am not sure, but if VaMutasa and colleagues honestly believe they have a political market and are therefore a strong political brand outside Zimbabwe People First, they should then not be ashamed to market it. If VaMutasa then wants to form a political party so that he quickly elevates his pleasurable personal ego to higher political platforms he thus aspires to achieve in life, so let it be. We will simply say to them welcome to the real world of boys and men. But I don’t think VaMutasa will thus be unwisely guided to see it viable to form a political party purportedly for the future of Zimbabwe at such an advanced age in his life. If he wanted to do so, he could have done it much earlier in life when he still was more energetic to drive such a vision.”

Contacted for comment, Mutasa said if Rtd Col Mbudzi had issues with him and others, he should have brought it through the normal party lines.

He also referred questions to Gumbo, who is the party spokesman.

“Ndezvavo havo VaMbudzi,” he said dismissively.

“I do not believe it is coming from him because if Mbudzi is concerned, he can talk to me directly not through the media. He has the opportunity to talk to me.

“Chinyora kudaro kuti VaMutasa vati, why should he talk to me through newspapers when I am here and available for him to take that offensive?” he said.

The squabbles in the party come as some key members, youth leaders, Jim Kunaka and Kudzai Saruwaka have rejoined the ruling Zanu-PF citing lack of direction at ZPF.

An exodus from the new party is afoot amid reports that many former Zanu-PF members in its ranks have applied to be readmitted into the revolutionary party.


  • comment-avatar
    Absolom Mashamba 6 years ago

    Everything about Zimbabwean Politics is about securing the highest possible position before taking into consideration the reason behind forming an opposition! People like MUTASA who thought that they were MUGABE’S right hand men because they had been annointed to their positions by MUGABE still think that it is their right to be put into authoritative positions in the newly formed party! That is not the case! If the supporters of People First want them as Deputies or whatever position they desire, then let the people vote and put them into those positions! Not to hold MUJURU at ransome all because they were jointly fired from ZANU! If MDHIDHIMAS wants to be a president of a party then he must form his own and then we will wait and see who is going to follow him taking into account his history as a High Ranking Member of the party that fired him! Let us focus on removing ZANU than securing positions for ourselves! I salute MAVHAIRE for not being involved in this stupid Power Struggle. Remember he was the first to be “FIRED” after he openly called for our aged President to step down. I say “FORWARD WITH THE STRUGGLE FOR THE TOTAL LIBERATION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE REGARDLESS OF WHICH PARTY YOU BELONG TO!” Down with those who just want personal goals!

  • comment-avatar

    If People First has hit stormy waters, what do you call the mess that Zanu PF finds itself in with it’s multitudes of factions and infantile bickering? Not to mention the corruption. First step is to bomb the Herald offices (like they did to Daily News) and remove Mugabe’s mouthpiece. Then, we march on Borrowdale Brooke and overwhelm Mugabe’s bunker. We will then surely witness the public execution we all deserve for our suffering.

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    Planter 6 years ago

    No one is in this for the good of the people or the country its all about self gain and opportunity to plunder
    Stop It Man – lets get rid of the old lot in with the new and lets move the people and the country – wish I could have a go at this – I would not be taking US$2.7 million out with me every time I leave the country – thats for sure anyone corrupt would be named, shamed and then fired losing everything plundered……………

    • comment-avatar
      Fallenz 6 years ago

      Agreed. Just imagine the satisfaction of returning the country to the people and sanity. Imagine setting up panels to investigate past and current corruption and atrocities… panels with intellect, integrity, and authority… and recover the stolen billions. Imagine resurrecting the economy. Imagine rebuilding all the failed infrastructure. Imagine returning the country’s international status. Imagine sending Robert Mugabe’s bones back to Malawi…..

      A lifetime of imaginations, but someday……..

  • comment-avatar
    $16 billion 6 years ago

    Inonzi Zanu PF. Good at infiltrating.

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    harper 6 years ago

    People First is a metastasis of ZANUpf and Mujuru, Mutasa, Gumbo and all are the prions spreading the ZANHpf Cancer that is rapidly killing the country.
    Metastasis = secondary malignant growth. Prion = a disease causing form of a normal protein.

    The only hope for Zimbabwe is radical surgery. Zimbabwe is rapidly heading to become China’s first colony.

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    C Frizell 6 years ago

    When I was campaigning with Trudy Stevenson in 2000 I was disappointed that all the people were interested in was how much they could get. It was interesting to me that the only people who didn’t demand to be paid were the white Zimbos.