Deadly turmoil hits Mujuru, ZPF

HARARE - Former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s fledgling Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party is unravelling spectacularly, amid pitiful suggestions yesterday that the newest kid on the political block could suffer a disappointing stillbirth ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

In an unexpected bombshell that showcased how the People First project has flattered to deceive, Mujuru announced early in the day that she had expelled the founding elders of the party Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa, together with five other party heavyweights.

And before the dust had settled down on this staggering development, the elders held their own press conference later in the day where they also announced Mujuru’s summary expulsion from the party — amid derisive remarks by ZPF detractors that the outfit should now be called People Fired, instead of People First.

Analysts who spoke to the Daily News last night said the chaotic events were a boon to President Robert Mugabe and his deeply-divided Zanu PF ahead of the watershed 2018 polls in which Mujuru has thus far been touted to play a significant part of a coalition alliance led by dogged opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

They also said ZPF’s ructions had left the future of the mooted grand opposition coalition hanging in the balance, as Mujuru was now likely to find it difficult to gain the confidence of her opposition peers and supporters who had, in any case, had reservations about her suitability to partner Tsvangirai and in the planned electoral pact.

Speaking at her hastily-arranged media briefing in Harare yesterday morning, Mujuru announced the expulsions of party stalwarts Gumbo and Mutasa — who are the founders of ZPF — on account of them being alleged Zanu PF agents and working to topple her from her interim position.

“Having done extensive consultation within the rank and file of the party and also in my capacity as the president with the executive authority to ensure its wellbeing, I hereby announce the expulsion of the following members  from Zimbabwe People First with immediate effect: Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Margaret Dongo, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, Luckson Kandemiri, Munacho Mutezo and Claudious Makova.

“We assure Zimbabweans that more heads are going to roll in this revolutionary exercise. We remain committed to the democratisation of Zimbabwe. We remain committed to a coalition of progressive forces to fight and remove Zanu PF from office,” she said.

“As a party, we have decided to take stern measures against elements determined to stall progress that the party has been making. As a result, we have decided to eject some of the colleagues and comrades we thought would stand with the people’s cause, but have chosen to be agents of the regime.

“All sorts of tricks ranging from a coup d’état and sophisticated infiltration have taken centre stage with a view to delaying the people’s cause of unequivocal liberation.

“We are aware of the desperate efforts by the Zanu PF regime to ensure that Zimbabwe People First fails on its mandate to be the next government. Without equivocation, it is on public record that Mugabe has boasted that there shall be ZPF one, two and so-on,” Mujuru added.

But no sooner had she completed her briefing than the situation turned into a complete farce, when Mutasa and Gumbo announced at their own press briefing that they had similarly expelled Mujuru.

Gumbo said Mujuru had “revealed to all and sundry” that she was incapable of leading an opposition party, and was therefore not fit to hold such an office.

“She has declared war on us and the die has been cast. We don’t think that she is the right person to lead us. We no longer recognise her as the leader of People First,” Gumbo said at the packed media event which was also attended by the supposedly expelled other members.

Weighing in, Mutasa said even though the elders were still to settle for her successor, one thing they were sure about was that they were “tired” of her style of leadership.

“We are not surprised by her irrational and emotional decision purporting to expel us. In fact, at the time she held her press conference, we were waiting for her at the party offices as she had told us that we should wait for her since she was at the trauma centre.

“She has no right to expel us. Mujuru was in fact appointed by us the founders of the party to lead the party as the interim president,” Mutasa thundered in remarks that don’t bode well for the still-to-properly-take-off party.

“An intelligent Mujuru would not have expelled VaGumbo and Mutasa. She has not got even a modicum of intelligence,” Mutasa added mockingly.

Bhasikiti said under the party’s draft constitution, Mujuru had no powers to expel any party member from the party.

“I am not surprised (by the ugly turn of events) because recently I told her that we were losing confidence in her because she was doing things the Mugabe way,” he said.

The elders also said the fallout in the party had begun when they moved to recall ZPF interim national co-ordinator Dzikamai Mavhaire from his post. Sharp divisions had also emerged over whether the party should have two vice presidents or one.

They said while Mujuru wanted two vice presidents, they wanted one. They also alleged that Mujuru had been captured by “fugitives from the law, crooks, relatives and cronies” who were feeding her with wrong information.

Amid the chaos, Mujuru has been working behind the scenes with Tsvangirai and other smaller opposition parties towards the formation of a grand coalition.

Analysts have also consistently said a united opposition, fighting with one purpose, would bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule — especially at this time when the country’s economy is dying and the increasingly frail nonagenarian is battling to keep his warring Zanu PF united.

This week Tsvangirai said Mujuru had proved to be a significant opposition player — and that the two would work together with others to dethrone Mugabe and Zanu PF from power next year.

However, analysts told the Daily News yesterday that ZPF’s deadly infighting was likely to drag on for a long time, which would get in the way of the mooted opposition alliance.

“The split of the nascent political project further weakens it and its stature and resultantly, its bargaining power with other opposition forces.

“This is especially so if other constituencies considered to be supportive of Mujuru, like former liberation fighters, put their weight behind the seven expelled leaders,” political analyst, McDonald Lewanika, said.

“The allegations by Mujuru against the elders of Zanu PF infiltration are a hard sell . . . and potential partners may now be hesitant to be associated with a party that is vision-less, is in turmoil and displays undemocratic tendencies.

“In the final analysis, perceptions of fissures in the opposition do not bode well for building confidence among the masses around the possibility of the opposition uniting.

“The perceptions of disorder and the allegations of poor leadership on Mujuru’s part also play nicely into Zanu PF’s hands, and which hands cannot be totally absolved from having played a part in this drama,” Lewanika added.

Mujuru was expelled from Zanu PF together with Gumbo and Mutasa in the run-up to the ruling party’s sham “elective congress” in December 2014, on untested allegations of plotting to assassinate and topple Mugabe from power.

Comments (16)

Up to now these vultures thrown out of the wagon by Bob hasn't managed to convince us that they are with the people, the only thing that can convince us is telling us things like who killed our commanders Tongo and Rex. Who did what in the Matebeleland issue. Who ordered murambatsvina, how was the people's will subverted in 2000, 2008 and 2013 and how did they all rise from penniless gun wielding terrorists to be the rich cats they are today. The fact that they are now accusing each other of being Zanu pf agents simply means none of them is repentant, Tsvangirai should play very very far away from them

Ziggy Zigawo - 9 February 2017

Mujuru a new failure like Tsvangirai. Refused to be retired.What type of democracy is being fought for in zimbabwe.The same Mugabe democracy.In other nations,they pick & drop at will,all persons accepting the same principle of submission & following the majority decisions as of their party colleagues but in zimbabwe they rush to form a splinter group where they remain the boss.Our good examples are Tsvangirai& Mugabe

addmore gudo - 9 February 2017

In zimbabwe ,the affacted leaders surround themselves with their bootlickers & make pretentious&foolish noise that they are the majority;so costifull for nation's pathetic.The examples are Tsvangirai &Mugabe

addmore gudo - 9 February 2017

It is best to have only 2 political parties ,like the US type,Democrares vs Republicans.We have ZanuPf and Mdc .People form parties out of greed and self serving.Had these fellows just joined Mdc it wuld have been better for our politics.See how many Pp1st will come out of the original one.Maybe 5.Mujuru plse just join mdc or warvetts simple.

viola gwena - 9 February 2017

I feel sorry for Rugare gumbo last time he proped up a man into leadership and the same man threw him into a pit. Rugare worked very hard to bring up and give birth to this Zpf and mujuru was in hiding most of the time. Thats the problem with african politics, its all about who get what, where and when its not about development and people.

X-MAN IV - 9 February 2017

What did we say it here that this PF thing was a ZANU thing and it was designed to confuse pple at the end of the day Mujuru is likely going to go back to zanu , On the other hand Mujuru is being victimized for wanting to work with Morgan a thing which will split zanu votes and Mutasa and Gumbo would not like to see Mugabe loss to Morgan bcoz they hate Morgan so much .Nut all sane pple are worried by that bcoz their party MDC T IS there

Diibulaanyika - 10 February 2017

Looks like we have Zanu People First!!

Sagitarr - 10 February 2017

Donate the moles back to Zanu PF where they belong. Now that they have been fired I can proudly, without any reservations, join ZimPF.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 10 February 2017

I wonder why people like Gudo think foolishly,, Tsvangirai is far different from Mugabe. Tsvangirai haanakumboita president wenyika,,he is just fighting on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe. Only narrow minded people think like Gudo.A good fighter can not quiet before winning the battle. Tsvangirai is the fighter,,how many parties came out of MDC T did well after wards????.Gudo what u saying is cheap talk,,u don't know what u saying.Open minded people will wait until Tsvangirai wins then u judge him.Biti&others accused Tsvangirai of being a dictated but were are they now,, isn't it some of them are going back&say we were wrong,eg Job Sikhala&athers.We need to help this man so that he wins&that will be a good test we will give him.About Mujuru,,let's not rush into conclusion because we need to remember that Mujuru is a threat to ZANU&they are doing anything to make sure they destroy her party.This is exactly the same happened the time Welsh man&athers tried to destroy Tsvangirai,,they took everything claiming the ownership of the party.I was there&I sow them offering the us money at Harvest house trying to buy our votes.We people of Zimbabwe allow ZANU to intimidate us because we are cowerds

Matsotsi - 10 February 2017

The only reasonable presidential candidate in zim is MOGIZA you like it or hate it sorry that is how it stands / As for a bobjan to think that Mogiza must be changed is thinking like gudo and who cares if a bobjan thinks like that .

Diibulaanyika - 10 February 2017

Zim deserves Zanu PF. These ZMPF guys cannot agree on when to steal and they are at eachother's throat. before they get to office. They all as old as Mugabe and should retire as one lot. Now if they want to go on then dear Cde should not be disposed until Zanu PF membership votes otherwise at congress. Will someone tell Tsvangson that African politics is a different ballgame to what he reads in western world. It has one rule: kana wawadza pamafeso, rarapo wega. This thing of coalition, unity governments is BULLSHIT. You betrayed the people, every revolution has its own corpses/sacrifices. We made enough and you went to negotiate a unity government. you r no different from Jonathan Moyo who was voted independent and went back to Zanu PF with that seat.

t-bos - 10 February 2017

You are cray and you must be smoking your own shit that is why you are scared and hate Morgan pasi ne zanu ,

Dave - 10 February 2017

ZANU infiltrated zimfirst exactly as they did to the FORUM PARTY which was led by the late Dumbutshena . they tried it with MDC in 2005 but only to loss heavily to MDC T few years later in 2008.No matter what zanu may try to do zanu is going to be defeated heavily in 2018 elections the writing on the wall is very clear and laud . .

Diibulaanyika - 10 February 2017

I am most disappointed not only with Mai Mujuru but with all those big names failing to offer sound leadership. Zimbabwe should close shop as a country. Nothing seems to word.

selele - 10 February 2017

Thanks Dhiibuulanyika,,thats the spirit we need.Cowards are bz putting blames on blameless individuals instead of supporting the struggle. These cowards won't even be infront when courage man are fitting,, they just talk nonsense. We need people who think positive. There will be no one like Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe.Its about 16years now from the formation of MDC&since then we didn't see one,so people stop talking nonsense & do the right thing.Those who think that Tsvangirai is a failure, come open&challenge Mugabe,, let's see u in front then we know what u made of.If we keep on with our attitude then we must forget about any change

Matsotsi - 10 February 2017

Tsvangirai & Mujuru have failed at democracy but passed at dictatorship.At dictatorship the two have obtained distinctions;almost at par with Mugabe. Matsotsi said Tsvangirai's democracy will be practiced first in state house,but alas that is not so,you need to show it first before u come to zimbabwe house,otherwise u won't be allowed to come there.Both Tsvangirai & Mugabe are only good at manipulative democracy,not real democracy bec both in action they are not democratic.In America a candidate can only contest once,if fails,he admits failure &stand aside.How many times has Tsvangirai tried to make us believe is the only opposition candidate in zimbabwe who can contest elections,if u try once & fail allow others to take over,we are all the same. Thsz the bandwagon Mujuru has recently joined -a bandwagon of failures

addmore gudo - 10 February 2017

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