'It's now or never folks'

HARARE - With President Robert Mugabe’s post-congress Zanu PF teetering on the brink of a complete implosion due to its seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars, the People First movement says there has never been a better time for Zimbabweans to push for their “total independence”.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, former Presidential Affairs minister and People First stalwart Didymus Mutasa also said none but Zimbabweans themselves could improve their worsening lot and “foster their total freedom”.

The soft-spoken former close confidante of Mugabe also warned the warring post-congress Zanu PF to brace itself for “the mother of all fights” when the country goes for the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, saying People First was “close” to launching formally.

And speaking as a former ruling party bigwig who knows its workings and dynamics intimately, he said embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was in real danger of suffering the same fate as former Vice President Joice Mujuru — who was expelled from the ranks of the former liberation movement late last year on untested allegations of plotting to oust and kill Mugabe.

“The post-congress Zanu PF didn’t think things through when it decided to expel us from the party. They thought that we would go back there begging for mercy, but Mai Mujuru, Mutasa, VaGumbo (Rugare) and Jabulani Sibanda didn’t do that. We are taking the fight to them.

“We, together with many other Zimbabweans were part of the struggle, and we did not participate in that struggle to be misgoverned but for democracy to take root in the country.

“That is what we are fighting for now. We want democracy and we want to see our country fully liberated,” Mutasa said, adding that the post-congress Zanu PF was at its weakest point due to its deadly infighting.

Mugabe’s warring party split into two bitterly-opposed formations at the end of last year, at the height of its internal ructions, with its purged liberation struggle stalwarts moving to initiate the re-establishment of the “original” Zanu PF — which uses the slogan People First.

And even though the party is still to be officially launched, panicking post-congress Zanu PF officials have gone into overdrive bad-mouthing both the movement and its presumptive leader Mujuru — with First Lady Grace Mugabe recently telling her supporters that the movement was targeting teenagers as young as 15, allegedly enticing them with cell-phones, so that come 2018 they would vote People First into office.

Asked by the Daily News to comment on these claims, Mutasa said “she has to prove her allegations and name the persons distributing those cell phones, otherwise it’s not even worth talking about”.

He also confirmed that People First now had a draft constitution that would soon be distributed to structures around the country for the consideration of its supporters, adding that “the time has come to take Zanu PF head-on”.

“The post-congress Zanu PF is consumed by its vicious factional and succession wars and the economy is in freefall as Cabinet ministers commit themselves more to party business rather than bread and butter issues.

“If ever there was a time for Zimbabweans to take them on, it is now,” Mutasa said, adding that it was a matter of time before the ruling party was turfed out of power.

Mutasa spoke as the mindless bloodletting in the ruling party is getting worse, amid heightened efforts by Mnangagwa’s enemies to “checkmate” the embattled VP.

Well-placed sources who spoke to the Daily News said so explosive was Zanu PF’s politburo meeting last week that a female Cabinet minister and perceived staunch Mnangagwa ally had allegedly wept uncontrollably amid fierce factional fighting — and as a stunned Mugabe apparently watched the farce in stony silence.

One of the sources said after the politburo endorsed the suspension and expulsion of many supporters of the VP, more senior party officials loyal to Mnangagwa were set to face the chop in the next few months, as the post-congress Zanu PF’s factional and succession wars continue to escalate.

Mnangagwa is said to have not personally attempted to either oppose or stop last Wednesday’s suspensions and expulsions during the politburo meeting, appearing instead to “look up to president Mugabe for direction and help, but Gushungo (Mugabe) never said a thing”.

Among the officials who were either expelled or suspended on various allegations, including those related to fanning factionalism, included former Manicaland women’s league boss Happiness Nyakuedzwa and former Mashonaland Central youth league chairperson Godfrey Tsenengamu.

In addition, former Harare provincial chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa, former Harare women’s league chairperson Ratidzo Mukararati, and former Masvingo chairperson Paradzai Chakona, all had their votes of no confidence upheld.

Another source claimed that there had also been “a fierce row” between Grace and Water minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, which had allegedly left the latter battered and in tears.

“Team Lacoste (Mnangagwa camp) received a mighty beating in the meeting. People like (political commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere and (deputy youth league secretary Kudzanai) Chipanga vigorously lobbied for the ouster of Mnangagwa’s supporters, especially in Manicaland where the vote of no confidence on Nyakuedzwa was upheld,” a politburo member who claimed to be “non-aligned” said.

Muchinguri-Kashiri — who is allegedly aligned to Mnangagwa and has recently been locked in a vicious power struggle with Grace’s supporters in Manicaland — is said to have started the fight with the first lady whom she accused of fuelling infighting in the troubled province.

Muchinguri-Kashiri, according to insiders, allegedly told Grace that she was the most senior party official in the province and thus always needed to be consulted on important decisions impacting on the region — apparently further insinuating that Grace had so far failed to run the women’s league properly.

“This angered Amai (Grace) and as she spoke, she got angrier and angrier, saying ‘wakabvira kare uchindijairira ... (You have never respected me)” — apparently going on to give Muchinguri-Kashiri a severe tongue-lashing which resulted in the Water minister crying.

Ironically, the two women were buddies only last year when they worked together to oust Mujuru from power. In addition, Muchinguri-Kashiri relinquished her post as women’s league secretary to make way for Grace.

Mugabe is said to have avoided joining the bust-up, only speaking much later when he appeared to admonish both Muchinguri-Kashiri and War veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa for often flaunting their liberation war credentials to get special treatment in the party.

“The president acknowledged the important role the war veterans had played, and continued to play, but warned that their continued deification could divide Zanu PF,” another source said.

Comments (22)

VaMutasa the best thing you can do for me and every other Zimbabwean is for you to announce your retirement for active politics and use the rest of your days begging for mercy for your role in the mis - governance of this country.

Makaveli - 1 December 2015

no one can vote for these tried and failed leaders,Mutasa and team are a bunch of failures go and try in Mozambique pamwe mungavhoterwa baba,,In Manicaland we say pamberi naTsvangirai!!!!!! pasi nePeople First

tiiiii nematanda - 1 December 2015

This paper is toilet material for sure. The journos must be street kids. do you really mean you got no better news to report. What about the Chinese leadver's visit to ZIM. Aya ndo ma - tu -zvi ebepa chaiwo

truths - 1 December 2015

Me thinks Comrade @truths above smokes a very powerful brand of Eastern weed! Otherwise, how does one interpret his verbal diarrhoea here? Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

Moses - 1 December 2015

@Truth well i agree with Moses that this guy smoked his own shiit before he started to hallucinating here .Who cares about the leader of zhing zhong if you like him why don't you go and meet him at the airport without making noise here . The herald has that nonsense that you want buy it and ready and we see if you will wake up tomorrow with clean water running from your tap with good pressure .Your skop is very kokayi yes especially judging by what you are saying hear . .

Diibulaanyika - 1 December 2015

Mutasa & co (incl Mujuru) have to tell everything they know about the opression and repression of Zimbabweans since 'independence' by their erstwhile 'comrades'. They are too tired and tainted for any use to anyone - let alon the suffering masses.

Tozvirevakupiko Mambo - 1 December 2015

Mutasa must tell the nation how zanu rigged the last elections we all know he knows every thing bcoz he was involved and stop beating by the bush . What ever he says together with Mujuru no sane person will take it serious as it is well known that they are pure zanu which all zimbabweans no longer want because,of' zanu 's abusive and satanic .waysof leading people..

Diibulaanyika - 1 December 2015

@truths chokwadi haudi unoda chipepa chenyu cheZanu chenhema iri rinodurura chokwadi zvinoita mapenzi akaita sewe agwadziwe . Waida rinonyere kuti mhondi dzeZANU dzakanaka hazvigoni

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 1 December 2015

MDC + PF =MDPF Movement for Democratic People First. What do I mean? It is going to be a Movement of the Democratically minded People First and fore most. What's in your mind?

Boterekwa - 2 December 2015

VaMutasa isn't this a case of sour grapes.

felix - 2 December 2015

These arguements we witness in ZANU PF are not unique to Zimbabwe - all political parties have their divisions, look for instance at the uproar in the British Labour Party at the moment? So to those dumb observers who think and believe that this is the end of ZANU PF, I beg you to think again. Out of this tussle we will emerge stronger and more united than ever before. We have Asia on our side and we must never ever forget their commitment and loyalty to us right from the very beginning.

Jimmy - 2 December 2015

voting for people first will be bringing back zanu by the backdoor. these people were part of the gravytrain for almost four decades looting and murdering at free will. they had to wait to be pushed out and even so reluctantly. joice is still filthy rich keeping all the loot that she has amassed with Solomon since 1980 even Solomon's siblings have a lot of properties. I don't see how this corrupt lady will transform into a developmental someone overnight. let us avoid the Kenyan situation of recycling politicians for they are not recyclable!!! VIVA SAVE MAKARAMBA KUTENGWA NARWAVHI MUGABE!!!!

josphat mugadzaweta - 2 December 2015

Its really noble for Mr. Mutasa and Mrs Mujuru to come out clear and apologetically to the Zimbabwean populace for having allowed Zimbabwe to slide down to such an alarming level before seeking sympathy and support and acceptance from the electorate. Do it the " truth and reconcilliation" way.

Andrei Mafeso - 2 December 2015

they apologized already. At least they have the audacity to accept their past wrongs publicly a feat out of reach for morgan tsvangirai. not everyone thinks that they should never be trusted again. some of us see them as a potential replacement for the current government. mai mujuru appears capable of taking over. i would put my vote on her than the ever blundering morgan.

zvirozviyedzwa - 2 December 2015

It does not matter, sweet or sour grapes, as long as it is going to get us a new narrative. We are tired of this single sided story of ZANU PF, who continue to tell people that only ex-combatants liberated the country, when we know very well that the so called ordinary masses suffered at the hands of the Smith regime to support and execute the struggle, which eventually gave us the now being abused independence. We need an era where a balanced narrative is given to our children, not a one sided story meant to benefit the children of the few who are connected and sometimes very corrupt.

Zvichapera - 2 December 2015

Va Mutasa its now nostalgic thinking.I clearly remember yu saing on ZTV that ,telling MDC ,hamutitorere chingwa pamuromo.zvino maakuda kuita sei nhai baba.Mukati Mnangagwa is dreaming if he wants to be president.AH,veduwee,politics .kumbirai Ngwena muendeswe ku Chingoto.Munondozorora muritii.Zva Gumbo izvi muchachema futi.Kana makadhashurwa na Gire chaiye,kuzoti Ngwena maimugona?mmm,imi.Kurai mushe dzokai kumba .Ngwena will accept yu wth open hands,on behalf of President Mugabe.Teurai akadzoka munodii mudhara.Ziyai kuti zvinonaka izvi zvekutonga.

viola gwena - 2 December 2015

Just a reminder to honorable former minister VaMutasa. Do you remember these WORDS; VaMugabe chete, VaMugabe chete, VaMugabe chete. I think its time for you to write more NOVELS now than to join another party.

Ngano Nyorwa - 3 December 2015

Imi mazisaga imi chidaidzirai ngome yechiparty chenyu mhani tinzwe kana chiine musoro tigowana chokusapota. Ndava so far muZimbabwe ndatoshaya political party yandingati ine musoro. Pamwe ichechi chi People First chinogona kundinyaradza.

Dhurun'aru - 3 December 2015


thinksmart - 3 December 2015

If i may ask "Why is it that Mama Grace and company are not saying, in their slogans, 'PASI NAAMAI JOICE MUJURU' ????????????????

thinksmart - 3 December 2015

If i may ask "Why is it that Mama Grace and company are not saying, in their slogans, 'PASI NAAMAI JOICE MUJURU' ????????????????

thinksmart - 3 December 2015

If i may ask "Why is it that Mama Grace and company are not saying, in their slogans, 'PASI NAAMAI JOICE MUJURU' ????????????????

thinksmart - 3 December 2015

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