HARARE - Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo says the ongoing defection of dozens of the party’s cadres across the country to former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s People First movement is inconsequential.
Khaya Moyo’s defiant retort came as reports filtered in this week that many disgruntled ruling party regional officials and ordinary members, particularly in Mashonaland East, were switching camp to People First.
“They can go where ever they want to go. Zanu PF is massive party and will not be affected by such sideshows. We are the governing party, not an opposition movement.
“Those who no longer want to work with us know that they have to communicate with their provincial leadership by writing to them,” Khaya Moyo told the Daily News yesterday.
Among those touted to be ditching the warring post-congress Zanu PF and stampeding to People First are former ruling party national youth league political commissar John Mushayi and Mashonaland East provincial executive member Bonny Mutize.
Khaya Moyo added derisively that he neither knew Mushayi nor was he aware of the existence of Mujuru’s project, saying it was “a mere myth”.
“I don’t know anything about People First. The only party there is in the country is Zanu PF, the ruling party. So how do you defect to a project?
“My advice to the so-called officials, if they exist in the first place, is that they should write to their provincial executives stating their position. We allow that in Zanu PF because that is democracy where divergence of opinion is tolerated. They are free to leave the organisation and they know the channel,” he said.
But the Daily News is reliably informed that about 22 current and former ruling party officials from Mashonaland East attended a People First meeting in Goromonzi last weekend that was addressed by one of the project’s senior officials.
Mushayi, who was one of those who took part in the meeting and co-ordinates the new party’s activities in Chikomba Central, confirmed the holding of the weekend get-together.
“People are angry with the way she and all of us were treated because nobody was given time to state their case.
“This led people to conclude that they needed an alternative party which could usher in the kind of democracy that they have been yearning for, for a long time now,” he said, adding though that they had not started to hold public meetings.
“Although we have not started serious mobilisation yet, it is clear from what we are seeing and hearing from people that they are ready for Mai Mujuru.
“They see her as the solution to the many economic and political challenges that the country is facing and they are coming in their hundreds to ask for information about People First”.
Commenting on Khaya Moyo’s assertion that People First was just a myth, former Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said Zanu PF was merely in denial mode, and would be “in for a rude awakening soon because there is no more Zanu PF to talk about”.
“Zanu PF is finished because it is no longer the mass party that it used to be as the mass followed Mujuru and other comrades.
“The few who are still there are hanging on because they are probably related to Gushungo (Mugabe), otherwise there is no party to talk about currently and more are still coming.
“That People First is a reality is no longer news because it is everywhere and people talk about it at funerals and in beerhalls, in towns and in rural areas. What could be newsworthy is when you get to a place in the country where there is no People First,” Bhasikiti said.
Following Mujuru’s expulsion from her government and party posts on untested allegations of plotting to oust and assassinate Mugabe, she and her team of estranged liberation struggle stalwarts vowed to fight back and expose Zanu PF for the “paper tiger” that they claim it is.
The Daily News has also revealed recently that the panicky ruling party was making frantic preparations for yet more parliamentary by-elections as it has also emerged that dozens of post-congress Zanu PF legislators were holding meetings with Mujuru.
“Never mind the fake bravado that the chefs mouth off at public platforms, it is panic stations in the party. Provinces, especially Mashonaland East have been instructed to prepare for tough by elections,” a well-places source said.