Zimbabwe People First in quandary in Byo

Source: Zimbabwe People First in quandary in Byo – Sunday News  May 8, 2016

Dumisani Sibanda
THE Joice Mujuru-led Zimbabwe People First has been rocked by internal leadership fights in Bulawayo with Ms Esnathi Bulayani and Mr Tapiwa Moyo reportedly tussling for the control of the province.
Ms Bulayani — who lost in her bid to be Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South on a Professor Welshman Ncube MDC ticket in the 2013 elections — was announced by Dr Mujuru at a Press conference to launch the party in February as the co-ordinator for the Bulawayo Province.

The announcement came as a surprise as Dr Mujuru had reportedly ordered members in the metropolitan province to sort out problems which had resulted in parallel structures led by Ms Bulayani and Mr Moyo — who is a former Zanu-PF Youth Secretary for Finance in Bulawayo. Followers of the party felt the issue should have been resolved before making the announcement. Since the announcement the members have reportedly been having separate meetings either as Mr Moyo’s team or Ms Bulayani’s group.

“The situation is tricky because some of the members are saying they will not accept imposition of people to be their leaders when their interests should be put first and have vowed that (Ms) Bulayani will co-ordinate in Harare not Bulawayo as their chosen leader is (Mr) Moyo while others are saying they follow instructions from the party’s leadership and will therefore take orders from (Ms) Bulayani as she was announced by party leader Mujuru as coordinator for Bulawayo,” said a source within the party.

However, the Zimbabwe People First interim national chairman of the information and publicity sub-committee, Mr Methuseli Moyo, dismissed the existence of parallel structures in Bulawayo as false.

“There are no parallel structures in ZimPF Bulawayo province, or in any part of Zimbabwe for that matter,” he said in an e-mailed response to Sunday News questions on Friday.

“It is the State media which has been dreaming about the presence of parallel structures in our party. And that shall remain a dream. Our party is solid and as strong as the baobab tree, our symbol.”

He said there was nothing amiss on the appointment of Ms Bulayani as coordinator for Bulawayo.
“The president, in her wisdom and acting on advice from elders and other members of the party, appointed people into interim positions to co-ordinate activities until congress,” said Mr Moyo.

“If anyone wanted themselves or their favourite person or persons appointed into any interim position and they were not, they are free to elect them when time to choose substantive structures comes. We are not doing anything to resolve the problem of parallel structures because it does not exist.”

But sources within the party insisted the factional fights in Bulawayo were a cause of consternation. The source said although the party generally accepts that Bulawayo is not its stronghold it was keen to have some “meaningful presence” in the province but the leadership wrangles have scuttled those plans.

Dr Mujuru has not been a “darling” of Bulawayo since she publicly described Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nkomo, as “senile” for going against her decision as Information, Posts and Telecommunications Minister to deny business mogul Strive Masiyiwa and his Econet firm a mobile phone operating licence.