14 February 2017
HARARE – Daily News writer, Farayi Machamire, chats to former ambassador
and Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) member, Retired Brigadier-General Agrippa
Mutambara, in the wake of the implosion of the Joice Mujuru-led opposition
Q: This past week you joined dozens of ZPF party heavyweights who dumped
Joice Mujuru. Why did you feel compelled to make this decision?
A: Democracy is not best served by ostracising those with opposing views
but embracing them.
It was the unilateral dismissal of Mujuru from Zanu PF and the purging
that followed that convinced me that Zanu PF had breached the basic tenets
of democracy and had turned itself into an autocratic and repressive
For that reason, I announced my resignation from Zanu PF to join ZPF.
I am disappointed that the sacred democratic values that I hold dear are
once again being violated by the dismissals and promised purging taking
place in ZPF.
ZPF, led by Mujuru, has got its feet firmly lodged in sand, quicksand, the
more it struggles, the more it sinks into it.
Q: What type of a person is Mujuru?
A: As a decent human being, I have respect for Mujuru. But as a leader I
find her indecisive and clueless.
The party is directionless and cruising on autopilot. I had to break from
the ZPF led by her.
If there are matters that arise that need a leader to take a position, she
doesn’t take a position.
And again, she also now wants to promote the culture of Zanu PF where
those vanoera Nzou (those who share the same totem as her) are being
The most disappointing thing is that she was expelled from Zanu PF for
having opposing views, now she is doing the same to those with opposing
Q: Is this the beginning of the end for ZPF?
A: As far as we are concerned, ZPF is still there.
What we want is a new leader.
All those rallying behind Joice Mujuru, I know they think they are the
legitimate people, but they will soon realise they don’t have the support
they think they have.
Q: You were left for dead by rampaging Zanu PF apparatchiks last year as
you tried to defend fellow ZPF comrades who were under siege?
Don’t you feel now that all that was in vain?
A: I sacrificed a lot, I have been so involved…getting injured and so
forth. I am still facing court cases where I am footing my own bills.
But I tell you, she will be shocked to realise that she doesn’t enjoy the
support that she thinks she has.
People tend to lie to her and yet she doesn’t enjoy that support.
It is really sad that she can’t handle disgruntlement, people are looking
for leadership but she is indecisive, she can’t make a decision.
Q: What do you think all this does to the agenda to remove President
Robert Mugabe and the mooted grand coalition?
A: It makes it a little bit difficult but I think it is preparing us for a
better way forward. Because we were stuck in quicksand, as you try to
wriggle your way out, you sink more.
I believe the way we were going; we were not going to achieve anything.
You know the meetings of the ZPF supreme decision making body can last for
eight hours and nothing is resolved.
Instead of discussing real issues, people discuss gossip and gossip and
nothing is achieved and the leader has no control. Whoever thinks of
shouting shouts and so forth? I could no longer be a part of that.
Q: With everything happening, do you see yourself going back to Zanu PF?
A: To What? Zanu PF? Me? Never. Never. Not Zanu PF.
Q: What is your next move from here?
A: We are going to try reform ZPF and make it work for the people.
What happened (squabbles that led to desertions), it was not
representative of the party, it was unilateral.
So it defeats the purpose that we are People First when we take unilateral
We are back again to Zanu PF dictatorial tendencies.