HARARE - More Zanu PF officials, including former ministers, continue to stampede to join former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s recently registered Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party.
Among those who recently ditched the ruling party to join ZPF are former deputy Information minister, Bright Matonga — who is said to be working closely with former Zimbabwe Union of Democrats president, Margaret Dongo, to mobilise support for ZPF in Mashonaland West.
The former Zanu PF bigwig and MP told a meeting held at his homestead in Mhondoro last month that hope for a better Zimbabwe could only come with Mujuru as leader of the country.
According to minutes of the meeting, which was attended by several other former ruling party officials, Matonga is captured saying “the president From Page 1
(President Robert Mugabe) is hardworking but old minds need to be replaced”.
“How can we have someone who was made to read a wrong speech for 40 minutes be presented as a presidential candidate for 2018?” he is reported saying, further blaming Zimbabwe’s high levels of corruption for the country’s economic meltdown.
The former Zupco chief executive apparently also told the meeting that ZPF was working underground closely with many people still in Zanu PF and working in government.
“There is no government office isina vanhu vedu. People like ... (names withheld by the Daily News on legal advice) are with us, so you need to co-operate with them. We have quite a number of them you will get to know very soon,” he said
Matonga’s mobile phone was unreachable yesterday. But ZPF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed that he had defected to the Zanu PF off-shoot.
“Matonga is one of us, but for now since, we have not held congress, he like all others, is co-ordinating the party’s activities from the ward to provincial level.
“We are doing well and with Zanu PF at war with itself, we are just enjoying ourselves because we will continue to grow, even as there are some in the party who are still under the illusion that they can re-organise it and unite people again.
“They must forget that. Zanu PF cannot reawaken. It’s dead and it will be naïve for anyone to expect that it can bring any positive change to the country’s fortunes,” the ebullient Gumbo said.
In his meeting with his home constituency, Matonga also urged ZPF supporters to work together with other opposition parties.
“If we do not join hands with (MDC leader Morgan) Tsvangirai, we will not be able to deal with Zanu PF effectively. We must be brave for us to be able to remove Mugabe from power. We do not want cowards,” the minutes of the meeting capture him saying.
Speaking at the same meeting, a war veteran who was only identified as Comrade Horwe, called on all former Zanu PF and security sector officials now in ZPF to confess the violence that they had perpetrated against opposition supporters, if they entertained any hopes of being forgiven by the people.
“It is true that the party will be launched in February, but we must first of all confess that we killed innocent people when we were in Zanu PF,” Horwe is quoted in the minutes saying.
“This includes the atrocities we committed during Gukurahundi at the instigation of our superiors. We cannot go forward without owning up to our sins because God will not bless our efforts,” he added.