Time ripe for new party, says Mafa

BULAWAYO - Former Magwegwe legislator and spokesperson for the short-lived Independent Candidates Coalition (ICC) Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda says time is ripe for the emergence of an alternative political party.

The heavily-contested political landscape in Zimbabwe is poised to assume new dimensions by the end of the year with the planned launch of new political units to thwart President Robert Mugabe’s cherished dream of a one-party State.

While MDC has done a lot in challenging Zanu PF’s hegemony since its formation in 1999  and subjected the 89-year-old Zanu PF strongman’s stranglehold on power to stern test, dislodging him either illegally or legally has proved difficult.

This has opened vistas for disgruntled former MDC members who broke ranks to have a go at Mugabe —Africa’s oldest leader and Zimbabwe’s only leader since independence.

Riding under the auspices of Zimbabwe Independent Alliance (ZIA) the new political baby is apparently what the doctor prescribed, at least according to losing parliamentary aspirant who stood as an independent after losing party primaries.

Sibanda believes it is time up for the two major political parties MDC and Zanu PF to give way to new players  in order to roll back the misfortunes of a nation  that has been polarised by political stand-offs for many years.

“As one of the founder members of MDC and a veteran in politics I together with other independent candidates feel very strongly that there is a need for a new political party in Zimbabwe to try to improve where Zanu PF and MDC have faltered.

“It shall be centre party. So we are saying to these traditional parties its time up for them to pack and leave the political arena,” Mafa said, adding that the two political parties should make way for what he termed a “politically neutral and impartial party”.

Mafa said while several consultations are taking place before the official launch necessary groundwork was now at an advanced stage.

“We are still working on a draft party constitution that needs to be approved at our first conference likely to take place at the end of December. We are also trying to establish interim committees at provincial levels,” he explained.

Sibanda said he has been tasked with spearheading the formation of the new political party together with his colleagues of the Independent Candidate Coalition and charged that some high ranking officials from three political parties have already indicated their interest to join the new movement.

“We are not targeting individuals but stakeholders. Our thrust is to persuade people from all walks of life. We are discussing with high-ranking members from such parties as Welshman’s MDC, Dabengwa-led Zapu and Mavambo behind the scenes,” he said.

Mafa said work need to be done in sounding out various stakeholders including students, academics, civic society, women groups, and churches and to bolster linkages with international organisation especially think-tanks in the West.

To ensure efficiency and seamless integration, Mafa said they have set up a Constitutional and Value System Committee which is “tasked with putting things together such that when people talk of democracy they should understand that it is not rhetoric but practical.”

Sibanda said so far they now have representatives in all provinces even at district level but also called for unity from other forces who think alike.

“I am told in Harare some are envisaging a new party which is their democratic right. All the same, we want to avoid a glut of new political parties so we need to talk to all those parties in order to come up with one formidable party rather than have a new polarised and fragmented party.”

“We have been approached by many but I am not privileged to mention their names. I am the centre of consultation as a result many have contacted me and they still do,” he added.

Mafa explained that the party’s provisional name, ZIA meant “independent” people of independent value because the new formation is transforming from an independent coalition to a fully-fledged political party.”

Asked if he harboured any presidential ambitions, Mafa said he would be happy to lead. One always hopes for the top most in what they do and the same applies in politics, he said.

“If people elect me for the presidency with my experience at my age I will acquit to the position, working with advisors and getting team work from executive. If people have trust, if they have confidence in me I will be ready to take the burden because we have to sacrifice one way or another for the development of the nation. People should look for a dynamic formidable new party on a date yet to be announced,” he said.

Mafa said a new party would be an alternative as MDC which has perfected Zanu PF strategies of “rigging internal democracy.”

On Zanu PF’s contested victory, the former legislator said the party should be given time to prove itself: “We have to wait and see. If they push the indigenisation policy as they were doing it will be a pipe dream. So they have to sit down and realign the Indigenisation Act for it to gain traction.”

He said any attempt by the Zanu PF to amend the constitution will unravel the popularity it had regained since the constitution was a people driven instrument.

“They should uphold the constitution rather than hurry to amend the constitution because five years is not much.”

Comments (5)

this will only serve as an advantage to zanu pf. mushrooming political parties is not the solution, they must unite under one umbrella for everybodys cause

bee - 10 September 2013

Hapana anoda kusarira kupinda muupfu!

Semhalo - 10 September 2013

Zimbabwe's problems does not lie in the formation of more politicals but economic growth. We should be aiming to produce scientists,inventors,doctors,technicians and agric sp[ecialists.We should look at the South Korean Model or Japanese Model.At globalisation and our youth should be looking at role models like Strive.

squarebasher - 10 September 2013

Dream on Mafa. Your so called new party will suffer stillbirth. Muchasvodza baba, munoita zvokutamba imi. Chinjaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mutirowafanza - 10 September 2013

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