Mujuru moves to heal ZPF rifts

HARARE - Former vice president and now leader of the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), Joice Mujuru, will hold a crisis meeting with senior party officials tomorrow, in a bid to try and heal growing fissures within her fledgling party.

The crunch meeting comes as insiders say Mujuru is set to be challenged as ZPF leader at the party’s planned elective convention, including by fiery war veteran Margaret Dongo, who yesterday denied harbouring presidential ambitions.

ZPF insiders have also told the Daily News that Mujuru — who was hounded out of Zanu PF in the run-up to the former liberation movement’s sham December 2014 “elective” congress — is also facing growing resistance from disgruntled members who accuse her of sidelining party stalwarts Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo, who have been relegated to the nondescript roles of elders.

Gumbo confirmed to the newspaper yesterday that ZPF leaders would hold a crisis meeting tomorrow, to try and douse the growing rifts within the party.

“People are free to talk and speculate. What we are facing are internal challenges which are not for public consumption  . . . we will resolve those issues internally.

“We are trying to improve the performance of the party. Thursday’s meeting will discuss the state of the party, its performance and the best way forward on the internal challenges,” he said.

It merged at the weekend that Mujuru will be challenged by Dongo and other senior ZPF officials at the party’s elective convention whose dates are yet to be announced.

However, Dongo dismissed the claims yesterday that she will challenge Mujuru for the party’s presidency, amid fears within ZPF that Mujuru would — like how war veterans had recently described President Robert Mugabe — be “a difficult candidate to sell” for the 2018 polls because of her Zanu PF connections, especially if the mooted grand opposition coalition failed to materialise.

Outside such a coalition, insiders told the Daily News, Mujuru would have to fight on two significant fronts — against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe — hence the push by some senior officials to have the former Zimbabwe Union of Democrats (Zud) president as the party’s 2018 presidential candidate.

Another ZPF insider also revealed that a “fervent campaign” against Mujuru’s presidency was well underway in the fledgling party, with Dongo’s backers said to be pointing to Mugabe’s former number two’s lack of bargaining power during coalition talks as her major weakness.

“The problem with Mai Mujuru being our candidate in 2018 is that she will only be acceptable to the electorate if she is not Tsvangirai’s rival.

“That is dangerous for us, not only because the envisaged coalition might fail, but also because even if it succeeds that fact alone takes away her bargaining power for the leadership of the coalition,” the senior party official said.

“Tsvangirai is aware that the electorate is suspicious of Mujuru and will only embrace her if they are together so he will use that to demand leadership of the coalition, knowing that he will have a field day if ZPF decides to go it alone by simply labelling us a Zanu PF extension and pointing to Mujuru not having left the ruling party voluntarily.

“He will tell Zimbabweans that had she not been fired, she would still be in government and campaigning for Mugabe, hence our preference for Dongo who is known for being a long-time critic of the current status quo,” the bigwig added.

ZPF sources also said Mujuru was pushing to have an early convention, fearing that any delays would jeopardise her chances of continuing to lead the party, amid grassroots level concerns about the absence of former war veterans chairman Jabulani Sibanda from its public activities.

Comments (8)

A clear sign that ZIM PF is the only democratic party in Zimbabwe."There is no one woman centre of power in ZIM PF,"Mujuru once said, what an enlightened leader she proves, confirming clearly a leader who understands that their Party Project does not belong to n one person,n one elected can take over the leadership.Had MDC bn such democratic, Tsvangirai would hv bn retired many years ago

addmore gudo - 2 November 2016

Matanga madzidofo eZimbabwe modirei kuita politics kana murimapofu kudaro.......hazvibatsiri kuti Dongo kana Mujuru.....vese hapana anogona kubvisa mugabe....chamunoda kubvisa mugabe pachigaro here kana kuti kutungamiriri party dzenyu dongo kana mujuru here....hapana anokuvhoterai motofo mese imi.... with a grand cowaration morgan T as the presidental candidate......mai mujuru vs etc and just work together for the sack of zimbabweans who needs freedom and prosperity nation.......for members of pariament ,,,,vetting will be done the grand cowaration will field a best canditate......wether mdc,zpf or what as long as is a zimabwean with the riquired credentail for the opposition then all other candidates and voters will support that candidate...for the opposition ie if zpf put a candidate mdc will have to withdral its candidates etc etc kuitamushandira pamwe kwete makaro kana ku spliter mavotes zvamakoni pana2008 pay....use common sense mazimb....musangocheme pamusaka pehudofo...Attenion ALL ZPF Members mukanzwa vanoshora amai mujuru kana kuda kuti kweshenisa magret dongo na joice mujuru batai vanhu iwawa ma CIO Operatives vakatopiwa mari na ZANU PF........Wether ndiani mukaoana ane this mentality akatodya mari akatengwa.....remember zunu pf yakati we will infiltrate thats ......infiltration.....wake up ZPF......WAKE UP ZIMBABWE.

dofo - 2 November 2016

Zvinongoratidza pachena kuti chirikudiwa hutngamiriri,,Mbada haichinje ruvara,,a ZANU child will remain a ZANU child even if they leave the father.Vana Mbiti vakazenge vavakurwira colour nehutungamiri ikozvino varipi?Instead of u to organise a strong group that can fight hard&remove the evil Mugabe,,u now buzz fighting for the posts.

matsotsi - 3 November 2016

All political parties that for now intends to restructure or come up with a structure of what ever form, creating divisions or power struggle should know that there is some one in their middle who is a sellout. Zimbabwe whats new leadership that comes from the people for the people to put the country forward as a collective. This is what ZANU PF has failed. It has only managed to put political aspiration of its leaders forward at the expense of everyone. They managed to stay as a ruling party and nothing more. Very much structure and with clear hierarchy. Centered all state resources on that. Impoverished everyone. CIO have infiltrated the entire opposition to the extend that they even get positions. Evil as it sounds but its a reality that ZANU PF has corrupted people. MDC T, ZPF, MDK, MDC-N, what ever name CIO operatives are there. Any political party that suffered the greatest split shows the effective and intensity of the CIO machinery.

amina - 3 November 2016

As a person who has followed Zim politics since 1985 ,i think since then opposition has lacked strategists and honest leadership.Every opponent of President Mugabe was once his subject or belonged to Zanu.They only oppose him after being regarded as useless in President Mugabe s party and chucked out of the party.Thats how they are all opposition leaders seeking to go back to politics for self grandisement,not for the country.Maybe Mr Tsvangirai himself was never in Zanu leadership.That accounts to why he is still around.Maybe.But he just cant go the extra mile of getting in.Looking up to leaders who Mugabe himself has called useless and discarded is not perhaps helpful to opposition.What can they bring to the electorate that they couldnt when they were in Zanu.If a leader cant stand the heat of the politics in Zanu and gets booted out ,what will the leader bring in another party besides mediocracy .Think about it Zimbos.I Europe or London ,if you get booted out of Labour party you out of politics .There is no joining Torries or forming your own party.

macmillan - 3 November 2016

Ya Margaret Dongo is the only real opposition leader in zpf.Why i say so is because she is the only leader who left zanu pf in the early nineties after realising that what they fought for during the liberation struggle had been completely abandoned by zanu pf.She left the party on her own accord.She was not fired like Mai Mujuru and by then the economy was not that bad.Mai Mujuru continued with zanu pf until the economy was in tatters and worsestill she olny left the party after she was kicked out.

Janana wa Bikaz - 3 November 2016

Am around busy preparing for 2018

Jabulani Sibanda - 3 November 2016

why did she fail to keep her ZUD PARTY intact before joining Amai Mujuru?

bozvori tawanda - 4 November 2016

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