Elders reach out to Mujuru

HARARE - The ruckus in the troubled Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party took a surprise turn yesterday when one of the outfit’s disaffected founding fathers, Didymus Mutasa, said it was possible that they could reconcile with former Vice President Joice Mujuru if she apologised for her disputed “dismissal” of senior party officials last week.

At the same time, it also emerged yesterday that Mujuru was digging in about the control and use of the fledgling party’s image rights, which Mutasa and other party stalwarts stubbornly say belong to them.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily News On Sunday yesterday, Mutasa said despite the party elders’ stunning fallout with Mujuru, they were ready to let “by-gones be by-gones” — hardly a week after they acrimoniously parted ways with her.

“If she (Mujuru) invites us to work with her, we will consider that. We have been working with her all along and she is saying we wanted to expel her, that we wanted to stage a coup, which is as I said, a figment of her imagination.

“We will consider it if she actually asks us to work with her. We are the People First, VaGumbo and I are the founders of this People First party and it was formed and given that name in my house and we invited Mai Mujuru and she came here, and that is where we requested her if she could lead us and, she accepted to lead us in this house.

“You are probably going to see new leadership very soon, that is all I can say because we want to find somebody who is acceptable to the people of this country,” Mutasa said.

The former State Security minister and Zanu PF secretary for administration, also said despite their fallout with Mujuru, negotiations for a grand opposition coalition would continue under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera).

“The talks for a grand coalition still go on. I have talked to (opposition leader Morgan) Tsvangirai and also senior members of his party like Amai (Theresa) Makone and (Morgen) Komichi and they feel most upset about what has happened ... and we are ready ourselves to join others to work together to get rid of the suffering of our people,” Mutasa said.

In a bombshell that shook both the opposition movement and ordinary Zimbabweans alike, Mujuru announced on Wednesday morning that she had expelled ZPF’s founding fathers Gumbo and Mutasa, together with five other party heavyweights — 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,” she said.

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 conference that they had similarly expelled Mujuru from ZPF.

Mutasa and Gumbo have since taken control of the party’s affairs after they claimed that they were the owners of the fledgling opposition party and its image rights.

In the meantime, Mujuru is said to be mulling changing the name of the party to avoid a messy fight with the former stalwarts, who were among her closest allies during their time in Zanu PF.

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

Analysts have also consistently said that 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.

Recently, Tsvangirai also 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.

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 (5)

I think after showing the nation that this ZPF party is not serious its high time MDC severes its ties with the likes of Mujuru,Mutasa,Gumbo and company so that we will not have the same scenario towards the 2018 elections.These guys are capable of springing a surprise when we are close to the election date that will put any coalition agreements into jeopardy and MDC will be the chief loser.They will create a situation that will confuse the electorate so that Zanu pf will be the chief beneficiary of this confusion.These guys are still zanu pf no matter what they want us to believe.All this expulsion from zanu pf is nothing but a stage managed drama to hoodwink the opposition into thinking that they have found allies because they know that without infiltrating the opposition especially MDC,their chance of winning 2018 elections is a snowball's chance in hell.Think about it MDC

Janana wa Bikaz - 13 February 2017

What is preventing Joice Mujuru from simply joining MDC-T....and yet she's clamouring for a coalition? What value in terms of actual votes or policy do the other smaller opposition parties bring to this coalition? Let's be clear-headed here, how many of these other parties have put themselves to a national plebiscite? We only know and hear of the office bearers and noone else.

Sagitarr - 13 February 2017

@sagitarr & jonana wa Bikaz......totally agree with your way of thinking, this is all zanu trying to fool everyone, only a fool can take this zpf seriously and I desperately hope MDC T doesn't because if they do they are in big trouble because this is just zanu trying to destroy MDC. This silly talk of coalition is not going to work, MDC T doesn't need anyone because already they have by far the majority of the electorate so Tsvang ought to be very careful. I mean who still votes for zanu today, who in their right mind would vote for them after all this mess, I agree kuti anyone who is sincere and serious about getting rid of mugabe and zanu should just join MDC T, biggest opposition party in the country already established with the biggest support rather than form yet another party, it just doesn't make sense, all the other parties are zanu sponsored or they're just there to get into the coalition so as to sneak into govt for the purposes of looting. Let all the other very small parties make a coalition and just leave MDC T stand alone please. Instead MDC T should be concentrating on how to make sure the election will free and fair because believe me, zanu is busy cooking something right now, we don't want to be crying the same way again in 2018 that elections were not free and fair please, people have suffered enough please.

misty - 13 February 2017

If you say Mujuru must join MDC T, please give the readers three or more reasons why you think so. Presentations should enrich, educate and contribute to political debates and not to be used as expressing political support of one's choice. What is wrong with MDC T joining Mujuru. We have of late seen that being a major opposition party with thousand of supporters does not constitute winning national elections. There are examples where even 2 percent gained by the so called smaller parties would make it impossible for the big tent or brother to win the elections. So the smaller political parties must not just be laughed off as none entities in politics. When it comes to numbers even if they get 0,5 percent it becomes superior to 48 percent gained by a bigger political party. Laugh at those little or tiny political parties and you do it at your own peril. The parts are greater than the whole. Meaning the whole is created by the smaller parts. So embrace the smaller opposition parties, otherwise you will always be bragging about our big opposition party, the big tent or brother for twenty years now. An example is the 2008 and 2013 elections. Smell the coffee

Kajawu - 13 February 2017

Kajawu, the political position in Zim is such that there are only two sides in the game. Those who want to remove the ruling party and those who want it to remain. These fragments you are talking about are all singing the hymn of trying to remove Zanu pf, but they don't want to join the MDC which they know is the biggest and will win if they do join, all of them. So, that leaves us with a question, what is there mandate? I now strongly disagree with this coalition nonsense Bcoz these guys are actually wolves in sheep skins. There is no question about the MDC winning any election that is free, even if these guys do join hands, as long as the playing field is not level they will not be able to get power. Tell me what these guys are going to do if someone holds election results for a month? Tell me what the are going to do if someone tells the chiefs to make sure everyone in the village votes Zanu, if not you know us you chief. Forget about the small parties, they are just there for confusion splitting opposition votes.

Ziggy Zigawo - 13 February 2017

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