People First takes shape

HARARE - Liberation struggle stalwarts associated with the “original” Zanu PF formation which uses the slogan People First say they are not unduly concerned by growing fears that the movement has been heavily infiltrated by State agents to neuter it, adding that all is on track for the launch of the party soon.

These assertions came as the Daily News was being told by insiders yesterday that there was already “fierce jostling for positions” within the movement, amid concerns that its presumptive leader, former Vice President Joice Mujuru, continues to send confusing messages about where she stands regarding her association with the party.

One of the sources, who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation by hardliners within President Robert Mugabe’s warring post-congress Zanu PF, where he still holds a senior position, said the jostling for positions within the movement appeared to have been triggered by suggestions that its leading promoters, former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa and its spokesman Rugare Gumbo would not stand for senior positions in the party.

“With Rugare Gumbo having indicated that he was content with remaining the movement’s spokesperson, it is now left to the likes of (former Zanu PF Mashonaland East chairman) Ray Kaukonde and (prominent Zanu PF legislator) David Butau to fight it out for the powerful post of secretary general and the two appear to have already started campaigning,” he said.

Another insider said the tussling for positions had also been precipitated by a recent resolution by the People First movement that they needed to first unroll their party and its structures before pursuing further the idea of a grand coalition with other opposition parties.

“It was initially envisaged that (Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Simba) Makoni would become national chairman, while (Zapu leader Dumiso) Dabengwa would become the other vice president. But following the resolution, others like Kudakwashe Bhasikiti now fancy their chances of becoming the other VP,” the second source said.

But Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that while they were aware of attempts by the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) to infiltrate the ranks of the still-to-be-launched party, this would not derail the movement.

“People must not worry too much, we are working on it. We are not going back. Isn’t it they (post-congress Zanu PF bigwigs) fired us? We have to find a new home and those who want to remain in that party (post-congress Zanu PF) can,” Gumbo said.

He also said the movement was yet to give aspiring candidates the green light to canvass for support.

“We are still working on the project and once we are done we will make an announcement for people to start campaigns. As it is now, people are just acting on rumours,” Gumbo said.

But Mutasa dismissed outright suggestions that the party could be engaged in factional wars already, describing such talk as “claptrap”.

“That is nonsense. How can people jostle for positions before the party has been formed. In the event that people are nominated, after everything has been done, then they are free to campaign,” Mutasa said.

At the height of Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars, which have led to the brutal purging of scores of its senior officials late last year, it was suggested that Mujuru had the backing of more than 100 ruling party legislators — many of whom survived the axe and are still firmly ensconced within the post-congress Zanu PF.

As all this happens, firebrand war veteran Margaret Dongo, launched a new political party to challenge Mugabe and his warring ruling party last week, 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 that is fronted by liberation struggle stalwarts — 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 then that Dongo’s move would put immense pressure on the seemingly hesitant 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 in remarks that were 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”.

And amid all this, analysts say Zimbabwe has once again hit the depths of humanitarian and economic despair that were last experienced in 2008, when the country’s seemingly unending political crisis precipitated an economic meltdown of monumental proportions which culminated in the death of the Zimbabwe dollar and the establishment of the hope-inducing government of national unity.

Speaking in interviews with the Daily News on Tuesday, the analysts said the only difference between then and now was that supermarkets were currently full of goods unlike seven years ago — although very few Zimbabweans are able to afford the goods as joblessness and poverty levels in the country increase exponentially.

All the analysts who were interviewed put the blame for the country’s escalating political and economic crisis at the door of Mugabe and Zanu PF, saying the ruling party had more appetite for its mindless factional and succession wars than resolving Zimbabwe’s myriad challenges and advancing the lives of long-suffering citizens.

Comments (34)

Ndozvatanga takamirira nguva yose iyi. Mai Mujuru its your time to start working.Takakumirirayi kani.we even want to join totodawo kupinda muma structures enyu iwawo.PAmberi namai na Mai Mujuru.

zimunya wasu - 13 August 2015

Dongo in shona is an ihabited homestead that is undergoing degeneration. She want to confuse the people who will be part of this People First yana Didymus. Clearly to give the ZANU PF AN ADVANTAGE.

vambezo - 13 August 2015

Lets Move with speed

Mujuru Ndizvo - 13 August 2015

Until the philosophy of Zimbabwean politics, that holds one sets up a party when frustrated instead of consolidation, then kumama chete!

John Madhiri - 13 August 2015

mother itai action matotinonokera .The majority of zimbabweans is behind you , you are our last hope we tried Tsvangirai but zvinenge zvakakona.Pliz mummy isu vana vemuprovince menyu tinemi.We cant leave our beloved country being run like a tuckshop buy these thugs

ini wekwa Rwere ku Chiweshe - 13 August 2015

This nauseating Mujuru mouthpiece sucks!

chitova - 13 August 2015

Apa hapana zviripo chembere kurota ichiyamwa.

jongwe - 13 August 2015

Why force a useless person to form a political party . The woman does is just empty in her skop and only those are equally empty in their heads can want to led by her.

Diibulaanyika - 13 August 2015

zva Margret Dongo hazviite and hazvimise mboro,kuda kusplita mavotes chete,"zidinji"

willard - 13 August 2015

Pamberi nemagorira ekutanga nyararayi muone .

Chitototo Chipashumaranga - 13 August 2015

Maggie chikapa chose chichapera vachikuchinjanisa.

Chitototo Chipashumaranga - 13 August 2015

People First slogan-''HEAVY!'' ''POWER!''

Chitototo Chipashumaranga - 13 August 2015

What fascinates me is Zimbabwe's complete and utter gullibility. When are we going to learn to trust God and NOT man. Someone rises up and we go all goo goo gaa gaa and think they are going to sort out all our problems. Truly I appreciate Mai Mujurus letter of apology to the nation but heck, there is still a long way to go for a nation to trust the 50% of ZPF that were chucked out of the feeding trough. Why are we NOT praying for God to raise up His choice of a leader. It may be someone we don't know and it may be one of these. We pray for discernment. I have a very, very hard time trusting any of these people. If they are serious ALL truth needs to be exposed and they should be talking to our pretty useless divided and rudderless opposition. What bothers me the most! MT was voted in 2008 and definitely 2013. Is he just to be swept aside????

TruthBTold - 14 August 2015

analysts say....sources who requested anonymity....is this news fellow countrymen and women...Daily News return to journalistic ethics or history will judge you for your role in adding confusion to the Zimbabwean mess

chikoforo - 14 August 2015

The time is nigh . The fat lady is about to sing.

My Prophecy - 14 August 2015

I smell a rat in Dongo's Movement for People First party , why so quick ? , why such a coincidence with Mujuru's People First ? There were no hints of her forming a party and because Mujuru decides the People First she lounges a People FIRST party.. she is a sellout , perhaps trying to create confusion on names i dont trust this MFPF

Shelz - 14 August 2015

Zimbabweans should now change from playing the politics of politics and play the politics of the economy. let every Compatriot introspect and soul search and ask oneself the single most pertinent question: IS WHAT I INTEND DOING CONTRIBUTING ANYTHING TO THE BETTERMENT OF THE ECONOMY. I THOUGHT PEOPLE REALISE THAT GOD HAS JUDGEDUS HARSHLY AND IF WE CONTINUE WITH THE ARROGANCE OF CREATING PSEUDO GROUPINGS IN THE NAME OF COMING OUT OF THIS POLITICAL QUAGMIRE, I AM AFRAID A HARSHER LAMPOONING FROM GOD AWAIT US. LET US NOT UNNECESSARILY DIVID VOTES. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MDC IN THE FIRST PLCE AS AN OPPOSITION. THIS SEARCH FOR LIBERATION CREDENTIALS HAS LET USDOWN.

nelson sikhanda - 14 August 2015

We are not fools ,no time to follow crooks, all the years they were not aware that they were plundering the economy,now seeking . We want professionals to rescue the economy we dont live on slogans

bakwena - 14 August 2015

Teurai will not risk losing her loot ,just imagine her losing the wealth, no ways

bakwena - 14 August 2015

Let us all just get one thing clear. If anyone of us steal or take something that does not belong to us we become a thief and the bible tells us that a curse will be over the house of a thief. Whether that is me, Mai Mujuru, the President of a country a cop etc etc. The Word of God demands that we confess and repent of this sin and make restitution. There is no enjoying stolen goods! God will take them from us in one way or another and we put our eternal lives at terrible risk.

TruthBTold - 14 August 2015

MDC led by Tsvangirai is the only credible opposition, all these other guys are employed by zanu to create confusion and divide vote.

misty - 14 August 2015

Reading comments is often more insightful of the people than the headlines. Each time people mix politics and start talking about God interference. The more I realise that us Zimbos are a passive lot who now believe in miraculous interventions, instead of taking responsibilities of our actions by refusing to 1. attending those meetings organised by Zanu. I mean we all refused, then there will be a clear message. 2. We take everything as comedy - we laugh at Grace's antics, call her names and then complain anonymously on the net (guilty too on that front) 3.Trusting easily like children. Why trust Mai Mujuru and any of these ex-Zanu people. They are the same people who participated eagerly in the looting of the country, amassing vast amounts of wealth 3. Ask ourselves why are we asking for Mai Mujuri? She hasn't really done much to really stand for the people. She danced with the Mugabe's until it went sour. We just need new names not these old guys, we need a renewed political involvement sorely based on job and industry creation.. not name calling or simply saying the opposite. PLEASE KEEP GOD OUT OF POLITICS. This pacifies us.

Keepingitreal - 15 August 2015

Mai Mujuru Action kani rovai action Mai vedu... tiise bhora pamuri isu.. As the youth in Universities,polytechnics and colleges we need you.

Mai Mujuru Woye - 16 August 2015

Amai Mujuru musafurirwe idyai yamunayo mari muri ziii. Zanu yenyu inokudaidzai manje manje

budya 365 - 17 August 2015

'Keepingitreal' has the point. Why should we all call for these old fools to play with our future again? & why is this Mujuru so silent and not acting? If she is capable enough she should have asseerted her position earlier and defend it. Her silence arouses eagerness and suspicion. Isn't she also clueless? and waiting for a stray opportunity yekuti azongoti i had planned to do this and this?? If not, she should just come ut to the people in the open and make her intentions clear. She is now giving room to people like Dongo who have got the guts to reach out to the people. But neither of them is capable to solve this country's problems. My considered view is that both Zanu PF, People 1st(which is mainly Zanu) and MDC have utterly failed. We want new ideas, new blood and new characters in the political playfield.

Hotshot - 17 August 2015

imi muchatione gore rino igore rezvidzidzo.Pamberi najoice

mahachi - 19 August 2015

welcome to politics 101 ,heads up guys for the worst i see a calculated move again zpf z always two or three steps ahead of u,ZIM POLITICS

blacks - 19 August 2015

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