Analysts back People First

HARARE - Analysts say disaffected Zanu PF stalwarts who have broken ranks with President Robert Mugabe to coalesce under the banner and principles of the “original Zanu PF”, have realistic chances of becoming a formidable political force.

A Zanu PF central committee member who refused to be named for fear of reprisals told the Daily News yesterday that the liberation struggle pioneers who were spearheading a rival Zanu PF formation to Mugabe’s, with the political slogan “People First”, could flower if they were able to take advantage of the massive disgruntlement within the ruling party.

He said the fact that the post-congress Zanu PF was reeling from perpetual and deadly infighting, with many war veterans complaining bitterly that there was a deliberate plot to elbow them out of the party’s top leadership, meant that it was vulnerable to a serious challenge.

“Indeed, if you check the top hierarchy of the party, you will notice that it is only the party vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa who has liberation war history.

“Others like Oppah Muchinguri are a distant number 10, while Christopher Mutsvangwa is second from last. This is the reason why many of these leaders feel that there is a plot to outflank them and that could work to their (Zanu PF “People First”) advantage,” the central committee member said.

However, he strongly warned the disaffected party stalwarts against forming a different political outfit, saying they would be playing into the hands of their enemies if they did so.

Their most urgent task for now, the top official added, should be to seek consensus with all their potential allies about the need to continue to pile pressure on the post-December 2014 Zanu PF leadership, which would be best achieved by holding on to the Zanu PF name.

“It is clear that a line has been drawn between war veterans and others, whether by design or default. The leadership that came out of the Zanu PF congress last year was a product of the First Lady (Grace Mugabe)’s political designs.

“You can also notice that most of the leaders have no history of the party while those who have like Mnangagwa, (Savior) Kasukuwere and Ignatius (Chombo) have no social base. We do not know where Mphoko is coming from and that’s a weakness,” he said.

He said any attempts by the disaffected senior party officials to form a new party would lead to the kind of political setbacks that had beset the likes of Margaret Dongo and her Zimbabwe Union of Democrats, Edgar Tekere and his Zimbabwe Unity Movement, as well as Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa with their Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn and the re-launched Zapu parties.

“They (proponents of Zanu PF “People First”) are in the majority. They have over 100 Members of Parliament and nine provincial party chairpersons, so why should they jump around?

“There does seem to be some confusion and they risk playing into the hands of those who are gleeful about them forming a new party. There needs to be consensus on what they want to do,” he said.

However, Pedzisayi Ruhanya of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute said while the disaffected ruling party members had a good chance of succeeding, their new party should not cling to the name Zanu PF if they were serious about “winning the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans” and to be seen as “a serious alternative to Mugabe’s party”.

Ruhanya further argued that the name Zanu PF, as well as the party’s leadership and legacy were “uninspiring and that this will only help destroy them”.

He suggested that they should instead start their “own project to show Zimbabweans that they are genuinely reformed”.

“Zanu PF is associated with misrule and the decomposition of the country’s political economy.

“It is known for its undemocratic, authoritarian and totalitarian political practice which involves the disappearance, torture and general disrespect of citizen’s civil and political liberties. They will be understood better if they just come out as citizens who are sorry for what they did when they were part of the authoritarian system. Otherwise people will ask themselves how it is possible to hire Adolf Hitler’s Storm troopers to redeem the politics of Germany in the same way they would not see sense in engaging Mugabe’s lieutenants to redeem Zimbabwe’s politics,” Ruhanya said.

Referring to recent suggestions by former Zanu PF bigwig and Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa that democratic forces should come together in a coalition against Mugabe, Ruhanya argued that it was in fact Mutasa and company who needed to join others in opposition, and not the other way round.

“If they are genuinely reformed, then everybody has a chance, but they cannot position themselves as leaders of the democratic forces which they have been fighting all along,” he said.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunungure, said only time would accurately judge the success of the new project.

Masunungure said history had shown that splinter parties, whether they were from the ruling Zanu PF or opposition MDC had never been successful projects.

“I am not too hopeful that this project will fare any better than its predecessors. They will need to come up with strategies that will take them beyond just becoming a protest party, a passing cloud,” Masunungure said.

However, he did say as the interim leaders of the new party had a rich liberation struggle history, as well as solid post-independence service, they could successfully leverage on this to make a significant political impact.

“With that history, they should be able to be a force to reckon with because no one can doubt that. While they may not have been shining stars, some of them did sterling jobs and they can ride on that. But they will need to come up with fresh ideas,” Masunungure said.

Comments (13)

Its true that many people are disgruntled. At my home area we went to take Rugare back from Hwange after the like of Richard, July, even VP Munangagwa, Joram, Ben Mataga etc dissappointed us. Richard would ask why we needed a road from Buhwa to Rutenga when we did not have cars!!!!1 Imagine the cheeky behaviour!!!! But Rugare is not the VP Munangagwa in terms of organising people. Joice Mujuru is not an organiser. Certainly Didiymus is not one!!!! They are not half as witty and willy Cde July Moyo!! The real fact is 50-60 % of ZANU PF supporters in Mberengwa are not happy with the status quo and we are also aware that our preferred MPs (Gammatox) will be annihilated come 2018. But we love them. We however know they have no CHANCE against the new ZANU PF under Cde ED and Cde Grace!! They currently have no projects on the ground!!! But we also know that Zvipfukuto are not Pro-People (People First)!!!!! They are for State Capital (read Russia under Putin or China)!!! They get rich using State Capital rather than using State power to amass wealth (reach Rex Nhongo/Joice Mujuru). To simply put my point accross, I am saying its foolish for the Didymuses and the Rugares to form any political outfit. They need to be patient and allow time for ZANU PF to have another faction and its coming soon (10 years). This faction will need to be strengthened by the current weaker faction (read the fact that after Mbeki, no meaningful faction is challenging Zuma except Julius Malema who did it too quickly after Polokwane and cost Motlanthe the VP post). The Weevils are witter than the Gamatox although the Gamatox have more sympathy. But sympathy does not get votes!! Mujuru stick to farming. Soon we will offer you a seat near your nemesis at the national heroes acre. Then we will give you regional responsibilities but you will never kiss power again!! So Tell your rubble rousers to keep cool but they will never make it politically if they loose patience!!!!!!!!!

Mushabi weMberengwa - 10 April 2015

The Daily News has an uncanny propensity of backing losers.

Francis - 10 April 2015

If those who claim to have taken an active part in the liberation struggle did not realise up to now that thy being systematically being sideline then one wonders where there brains are. This is being done but his and only one Mugabe with assistance from Jonathan Moyo. Wake up war vets!!! Can't you see the elbow you out of the party and then VP will not have anyone to challenge him for what he sees as his era of dictatorship!! Wake up wake up...this is politics. Ngwena is the man behind all this purging!!!

Garikayi - 11 April 2015

Of course. People were enjoying before they were dumped by the party. Now they want to appear as if they are sympathetic to the people of Zimbabwe thereby saying people first.May you list three developmental programs that Rugare brought in Mberengwa? The truth is we cannot celebrate that the beautiful ones have been born.thank you.

Jile - 11 April 2015

i long to see Zanu Pf "people first "Government in power. just a reminder to those who seem to be watering this pipe dream, WE ARE AND SHALL REMAIN RADICAL.Anything that obstructs our philosophy we shall CRUSH without fear or favour, we are watching you

Joe - 11 April 2015

i long to see Zanu Pf "people first "Government in power. just a reminder to those who seem to be watering this pipe dream, WE ARE AND SHALL REMAIN RADICAL.Anything that obstructs our philosophy we shall CRUSH without fear or favour, we are watching you

Joe - 11 April 2015

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I had never voted 4 Zanu Pf ever since and will never vote for any party that has to do with Zanu pf. These disgruntled X zanus, if they are /were genuine why were they quiet all along? They were supposed to join hands with Simba and or Dumiso. As for Temba , he should just shut up. The only genuine Opposition party is MDC T. It will be much better if they all join hands with Morgan. Thats my view

Piaget - 11 April 2015

The so called disgruntled ZANUPf bigwigs can keep their wigs but they can't remain big. As community service to the people of Zimbabwe they should rehab themselves by using their decades-long political experiences to fight for true transparency in national politcs

Abrii - 11 April 2015

They should become statesmen and stateswomen not in the fray for so called power. They should use their abundance of riches to set up trusts in the interest of ethics that bring real power to all the citizens.Sekuru Didi may want to revisit his pledges while serving in MRA and Coolcomfort projects.

Abri - 11 April 2015

People in this country are tired of the so called liberation war hero ,If you ask many of those who went to war what were they doing during that time most can no longer remember saving to say they were there and that saves to tell everybody how useless and irrelevant has that piece of history has become in our modern days . People want politicians of today to lead them according to what is happening today simply as that . This thing of very very very old thing still clinging to power and lead people according to the 1940 s will never help this country at all hence it is wise not for any sane voter to vote for zanu Mugabe or zanu Didmus in 2018 .Beyond any doubt Mugabe and Mutasa are useless and naturally no sane person would want to associate with useless things .

Diibulaanyika - 11 April 2015

it boggles my mind to hear that there is something called Zanu "people first".. what was the people's position before...ohhh i get, it seems like a confession to me, these guys during their time put our their own selfish interest ahead of those of the electorate retarding all development initiatives since 1980...good evidence is the road which link Gokwe North with Kadoma...

Chipaz weGokwe - 12 April 2015

the new Mujuru led party - Zim People's Liberation Party/ movement. their Moto - People First. i suggest

XHUXHA - 13 April 2015

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