via War vets defect to People First – DailyNews Live Jeffrey Muvundusi • 19 January 2016
HARARE – A number of war veterans have dumped Zanu PF for People First (PF) as the yet-to-be-launched Joice Mujuru political formation gains more ground.
This came out during a PF meeting held in Masvingo on Saturday.
Attended by former Zanu PF senior officials Dzikamai Mavhaire, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Retired Colonel Claudious Makova, the meeting was attended by over 30 war veterans, including district coordinators drawn from various districts in the province.
Some war veterans described the meeting as heralding the dawn of a new era.
“It’s quite clear that the tide is turning in the right direction as we follow Mai Mujuru, who is one of us, a liberation hero whose record does not need any one to clarify,” said one war veteran who only identified himself as Shoko.
“We foresee a new dawn and from the meeting, you could tell that we are heading somewhere.
“We can’t be part of a regime that demeans us, where confusion is the order of the day, so we saw it prudent to do the most honourable thing and follow Amai Mujuru.”
Nyasha Shamu, a Chivi war veteran and one of the meeting organisers, said: “As war veterans, I can assure you three quarters of people from this province are now with PF. The major reason being, what we fought for is no longer recognised by the present regime. Zanu PF is now only concentrating on entrenching the longevity of Mugabe and his family at our expense. Besides, our entire sister organisations vana chimbwido nanamujibha have totally been ignored. They have been vetted time and again pasina chinobuda so we are now sick and tired of that nonsense.”
PF assistant spokesperson Retired Colonel Kudzai Mbudzi told the Daily News yesterday that People First was fast gaining ground.
“Yes, it’s true that hordes of war veterans are flocking to join People First throughout the country,” he said. “Amai Mujuru is personally empathically accommodative of former freedom fighters.”
Mbudzi said this was all because of the former VP’s call for a War Veterans Freedom Fighters Wing.
“Being a former senior commander of the war veterans herself during the liberation struggle, Amai Mujuru has now called for the establishment and the institutionalisation of a War Veterans Freedom Fighters Wing at all the administrative levels of People First structures from national level unlike in Zanu PF where war veterans are only incrementally viewed as sympathetic associates of that party.”
Mbudzi added: “In People First, the constitution will then provide for a stand-alone and distinctive freedom fighters wing within the party and would then have an equal opportunity with anybody else at all levels to participate in its activities.
“So, apart from the main, women’s and youth wings, the People First constitution also provides for a freedom fighters wing.”
Mbudzi said President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and other senior Zanu PF officials have in the past shown the highest disregard for ex-freedom fighters, calling them all sorts of names.
“Today, Mugabe and Zanu PF havachambodi kana kunzwa nezve mawar veterans and other freedom fighters. So it’s only prudent for every war veteran and other freedom fighters to cross the political rubicon to the new gathering point of freedom fighters and significant others in a permissive atmosphere of genuine, empathic and comradely love with total undivided and individualised acceptance.”
Mbudzi said this was the only opportunity Zimbabweans might be getting to join the party.
He said: “As we are witnessing on a daily basis, people from all walks of life with different past political histories are flocking to join People First.
“In the same manner and with the same pleasure, we would want to urge others who are still sitting on the fence to follow suit than to want to wait for some future coalition talks and process which might never come in order to be integrated into People First.”
Mbudzi said it was wise for people to dissolve their respective parties and join PF now in their individual capacities than to want to wait to be incorporated through the envisaged and much-hyped coalition talks.