Pressure mounts on ex-VP Mujuru

HARARE - Firebrand war veteran Margaret Dongo,yesterday launched a new political party to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF, noting bluntly that arrogant and corrupt ruling party bigwigs were fomenting Zimbabwe’s mounting political and economic woes.

The new party, the Movement for People First — which is different from the “original” Zanu PF formation fronted by liberation struggle stalwarts, that uses the slogan People First — will contest the much-anticipated 2018 national elections.

Dongo said the new party had “a great team of patriots driven by a very strong conviction that there is need, given this country’s prevailing political, social and economic circumstances to come up with a truly and practically people-centred, patriotic political formation whose premise is the people themselves”.

Analysts told the Daily News yesterday that Dongo’s move would put immense pressure on the seemingly hesitant former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who has been touted as the leader of the People First movement, although she is still to publicly pronounce her association with the rival Zanu PF formation herself.

“Therefore, for all those persons who have been enjoying it on the fence, claiming they are out of Zanu PF, we say this is the occasion for them to show where they really stand, whether they like it or not. The enemy has been provoked, it is time to engage,” Dongo said yesterday in remarks that could be interpreted as targeted at Mujuru.

She added that in launching the new party, she was “guided by the liberation war tactic of provoking the enemy in order to engage the coward and fence-sitters among us into battle”.

But moving to douse any perceived rivalry between the two parties, People First spokesperson Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said Dongo’s outfit “should not be news to anybody” — denying interpretations that Mujuru was the “coward and fence-sitter” that was being attacked.

The former Masvingo Provincial minister went on to say Dongo was free to join People First under Mujuru.

“Mujuru cannot be under Dongo,” Bhasikiti said, adding that the former VP was poised to be the next Zimbabwe president.

Bhasikiti said they were inviting “everyone and anyone interested in the restoration of Zimbabwe” to join the People First movement, which he reiterated would be officially launched soon.

Invoking the spirit of the liberation war and the optimism that prevailed during Zimbabwe’s first all-race elections in 1980, Dongo said yesterday that as the country marked its 35th Heroes Day commemoration, the dream of uplifting, promoting and protecting the people of Zimbabwe was dying under Mugabe and Zanu PF.

She said Zanu PF’s rule had “sickened us to the core”, while indigenisation was failing dismally — further urging the government to allow vending to continue, “not because we do not care about the dirt, health and image issues involved, but because the times we live in demand that vendors be allowed to remain on the streets up to and until government attends to the needs of the economy”.

“Accordingly, we have since registered with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission The Movement for People First as a direct provocation to engage in an open and democratic confrontation with the ruling political enemy, Zanu PF,” Dongo, who is the interim national chairperson of the party said.

“The Movement of People First is set to bring new, committed and patriotic leadership, which is untainted with the past. Therefore, to those with an uncleared baggage, we say declare them and clear yourselves before the mass of the Zimbabwe people.

“We clearly hold that Zimbabwe’s issues cannot be solved by replacing corrupt and arrogant persons with other corrupt and arrogant persons,” she said.

The analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said Dongo, 55 — a former Zanu PF legislator and founder of the Zimbabwe Union of Democrats — could make a significant impact on the political scene given Zanu PF’s deadly infighting and the fact that she enjoyed the respect of many war veterans and ordinary Zimbabweans for her principled political stand.

Her re-entry into the congested political fray means that she would be among a stellar cast of candidates that include indefatigable opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, 63, who will take Mugabe head-on in the 2018 presidential elections — if the long-ruling and frail nonagenarian will still be the post-congress Zanu PF’s candidate in those polls.

Dongo, who says she was mentored into politics by Mugabe’s first wife Sally, recently received death threats, allegedly from government spooks, because of her political work. She has regularly challenged Mugabe and Zanu PF on their failings and misrule.

On its part, Zanu PF said yesterday that it had “noted” Dongo’s announcement, adding that she had nothing new to offer to Zimbabweans.

“Forming political parties has become so fashionable and a means of survival for many in Zimbabwe and Dongo, I am afraid, is evidently no exception,” spokesperson Psychology Maziwisa told the Daily News.

“She is obviously desperate for a few Western dollars and given the culture of opposition politics in Zimbabwe, that’s perfectly understandable. ... the only positive thing from her so-called political party is that it enhances the democratic discourse.

“We obviously applaud that; it is precisely why President Mugabe went to war. But she is hideously mistaken if she thinks we will lose sleep over her useless party,” he added.

Dongo also urged Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to “commit ourselves to the promise, to the undertaking that the Unknown Soldier did not spill his or her blood in vain, that we are here to rekindle the unfinished revolution’s aspirations”.

“We deserve and need their guidance. Let the Movement for People First strike in the hearts of the thieves and liars. Let’s all unite for the cause,” she said.

Comments (33)

Here we go again just as bob wants.many parties so that his corrupt party will win on votes

Jungle Man - 7 August 2015

We applaud that however, your strategy to transfer power from Mugabe to you as its obvious Mugabe will lose any free and fair election is what we want to know.

Ziziharinanyanga - 7 August 2015

Breaking the different opinion into political parties and then trying to form a coalition will only prove to the general electorate they want to benefit personally. The ZANU PF will not play but rig the elections maginally and know that they will win again and again. Dongo tried ZUD with Emmanuel Magoche and failed. To try something gain will not only work in favour of ZANU PF but will definitely derail the prospects of a democratic process that people are crying for because ZANU PF will have an opportunity to rig.

amina - 7 August 2015

Zimbabwe has been led by stupid and coward people since independence. People who are averse to criticism and accountability. If these ZANU PF maggots were people heroes they see their failures and account. This goes also to the Mujuru grouping ZANU PF rejects that are now claiming to see the light because there were ejected, if there are honest people they must support the current opposition not to think that there are better placed to rule Zimbabwe by forming other party. Zimbabwean journalists report truth not to misinform people by stupid reporting. Why are giving the Mujuru group unnecessary publicity. Where were they during Gukurahundi? Where were they in 2008? These are unethical people, blood thirst mafia. There are a by-product of Mugabe and Zanu Pf. That's the truth. For 35years they didn't know that they were criminals? That's nonsense. Zimbabwean should wake and put on their destiny in their own hands.

Christ in Me - 7 August 2015

Amai the way you split votes is disgusting . Join the other parties that are there so that we remove the common enemy yapedza hama mumusha. You are only doing this for selfish gains. I remember flowing your ZUD in 1998 with MR Kempton Makamure . You want to continue living in political doldrums why. We respect you makarwa hondo asi apa marashika manje . Repeating same mistake again and again . Do't you kno the voting patterns in Zimboland. Do not get lost in a one roomed house madam war veteran

Chakaurayahama - 7 August 2015

This is wind

Mentalist - 7 August 2015

Oppositon to ZANUPF outfits enjoy seeing their names appearing in the media, hoping to get attention from voters battered by sanctions ,which these leaders ironically supports ! The electorate have heard about about MDCT, MDCNCUBE, MDCT99, MDCGuseni, mdcgutu, MDCKHUPE, NCAMADHUKUS, MUTASAFIRST, BASIKITI FIRST, GUMBO FIRST ,EXVP-MUJOYFIRST,Renewal BITI, Renewal MADRUMS-NGOMA, RenewalHolland,MAKONI KUSILE-FIRST! Now comes Dongo First or Political Ruin First,. The opposition political market is now confused about which political vendor to follow. Zvinotoda annointed political oil !

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 7 August 2015

i think dongo is on zanu pf payroll. the name of the new party is very suspicious. the name and the time is there to confuse people tipping the balance in favour of ZANU PF. The people first group you are overtaken by zanupf CIO, -DONGO. Why coming with such name -which contains words which have been repeatedly used by Mutasa and his team-gammatox. dongo arikushandira zanu pf

ZVIPI ZVACHO - 7 August 2015

Zim needs prayers, we can say this and that but the basic thing we need to pray for our blessed nation. What we all need all to know is the land belongs to God and not men..

ZImONE - 7 August 2015

Aaah apa Maggie wazokonewa. This is time to unite with other comrades...ivo vana Mai Mujuru ava nanaGumbo...kana zvaramba Tsvangirayi aripo. Hatidi kuramba tichi splitter vote to ZANU PF's advantage. United we stand divided we fall. I know you are a true comrade and a true heroine, please re-think. Its good you are back. Siyana nanaPsychology avo vano taura zvisina mature

dollarman - 7 August 2015

magret dongo is a ghost worker on ssb payroll,the idea of this new party is to devide votes and her party zpf will win ,"Berekadzi mumbudzi"mwana wa satan.

p.mukaro - 7 August 2015

Winds have started and let us not be scared by these scarecrows we all know their fate. Zanu(P.F.) chidhoteso chaicho nyararayi muvone. Chegorerino?

Chitototo Chipashumaranga - 7 August 2015

Ko zita racho manje, Movement for People First. Kubatanidza mazwi e MDC ne People First. Like Movement for Democratic ChiZanu, or Mavambo Renewal...

JDumenski - 8 August 2015

No pressure on amai otherwise that move by Dongo its just a political strategy for her own recognition.

todo - 8 August 2015

Divide and rule is the name of the game. Dongo, Mujuru and all that Gamatox crowd not forgetting also Mr. Tsvangirai are all taking orders from the Mugabe camp. NEVER EVER trust any of them regardless of how they might criticize Mugabe because it is all a well rehearsed and planned show to fool the nation and ensure their political survival. All of them are about as plastic and artificial as you can get. Pasi naye.

Divide & Rule - 8 August 2015

apo magatox maridzwa. muripiko vanaDongo vatova mberi

buja 365 - 8 August 2015

We still have to think of an opposition party in Zim.MDC had became one but due to infighting that messed its prowess now it also gave birth to some rebel movements like MDC renewal and MDC 2.NOw a similiar thing is happening again to Zanu pf which because of infighting propelled by power struggles which originated from a lack of clear succession policy we have soon two rebelmovements being born out of Zanu pf.so as we stand we dont have a real credible stand politically for a country like Zim to say we have about 5-6 political parties is just a mere waste of resources and that does not brew the desired goals for our economic recovery

carson macate - 8 August 2015

Maggie urikurasika hanzvadzi, you cannot get pregnant because amai vepa"next door" vakabatsirwa vakapa mwana wavo zita rakunakidza. If you were genuinely pregnant then then give your your child an original name.

Domingos - 10 August 2015

vana runetso matanga manje isu tiri kutaura kubvaruka kwenyika iwe uri kutaura company registration.do u need a company to do vending,kura mhani

dindindi - 11 August 2015

regai tete vatange party yavo. there is no harm in trying. mdc t ikaramba yaka batirira pana tsvangirai inosiiwa ne chitima che change. its time to try new things so there is no harm varume.

zvirozviyedzwa - 11 August 2015

Dongo is , and has always been, CIO. This is yet another ploy to confuse the electorate with names. MDC is pitted with MDC Ncube and MDC renewal. ZUM was pitted with ZUD-just to confuse the electorate. Now ZANU (People First) is pittrd with Movement for People First. The names should rhyme to confuse the electorate. What I do know is that one cannot choose to retire from C10 and move scot free unless they are acting.

Dziva - 12 August 2015

in arenas of confusion, lyk the prevailing situation in Zimbo everyone can claim to be the solution. but being a solution without tangible policies is jst jeopardising people's efforts and hope. personally i dont have a problem with Dongo's non tactical tittled party coz popularity flourishment in Zimba is unique. When Jah love for example chanted a senseless and childless 'hauitee hauiteee' he was suprised to hear the following morning everyone everywhere including the so called bozwells shouting the chant

conrad von Jonie - 13 August 2015

So Bhasikiti thinks opposition to mugabe can only win power with mujuru at the helm? the very same mujuru tarred with ZANU PF corruption all her life in the evil 'so called liberation party'? I respect margaret Dongo but i think she is betting on the wrong horse if she thinks going with mujuru is the answer.

raf - 13 August 2015

Guys vanhu vese vamuri kuona vachishoropodza mai mujuru they are the same people who fired her for not agreeing with them that Mugabe is old, tired, and now needs rest and should be succeeded by someone now! Dr Mujuru has been pushing for a new dispensation in ZANU PF vaona kuti nyika iri kuuraiwa. So already that is a positive it shows kuti she is liberal. Mai Mujuru ndizvo and I know she will definitely make it in 2018.

For Mujuru - 14 August 2015

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