Why I left Mujuru: Mutambara

HARARE - Daily News writer, Farayi Machamire, chats to former ambassador and Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) member, Retired Brigadier-General Agrippa Mutambara, in the wake of the implosion of the Joice Mujuru-led opposition party.

Q: This past week you joined dozens of ZPF party heavyweights who dumped Joice Mujuru. Why did you feel compelled to make this decision?

A: Democracy is not best served by ostracising those with opposing views but embracing them.

It was the unilateral dismissal of Mujuru from Zanu PF and the purging that followed that convinced me that Zanu PF had breached the basic tenets of democracy and had turned itself into an autocratic and repressive regime.

For that reason, I announced my resignation from Zanu PF to join ZPF.

I am disappointed that the sacred democratic values that I hold dear are once again being violated by the dismissals and promised purging taking place in ZPF.

ZPF, led by Mujuru, has got its feet firmly lodged in sand, quicksand, the more it struggles, the more it sinks into it.

Q: What type of a person is Mujuru?

A: As a decent human being, I have respect for Mujuru. But as a leader I find her indecisive and clueless.

The party is directionless and cruising on autopilot. I had to break from the ZPF led by her.

If there are matters that arise that need a leader to take a position, she doesn’t take a position.

And again, she also now wants to promote the culture of Zanu PF where those vanoera Nzou (those who share the same totem as her) are being brought closer.

The most disappointing thing is that she was expelled from Zanu PF for having opposing views, now she is doing the same to those with opposing views.

Q: Is this the beginning of the end for ZPF?

A: As far as we are concerned, ZPF is still there.

What we want is a new leader.

All those rallying behind Joice Mujuru, I know they think they are the legitimate people, but they will soon realise they don’t have the support they think they have.

Q: You were left for dead by rampaging Zanu PF apparatchiks last year as you tried to defend fellow ZPF comrades who were under siege?

Don’t you feel now that all that was in vain?

A: I sacrificed a lot, I have been so involved…getting injured and so forth. I am still facing court cases where I am footing my own bills.

But I tell you, she will be shocked to realise that she doesn’t enjoy the support that she thinks she has.

People tend to lie to her and yet she doesn’t enjoy that support.

It is really sad that she can’t handle disgruntlement, people are looking for leadership but she is indecisive, she can’t make a decision.

Q: What do you think all this does to the agenda to remove President Robert Mugabe and the mooted grand coalition?

A: It makes it a little bit difficult but I think it is preparing us for a better way forward. Because we were stuck in quicksand, as you try to wriggle your way out, you sink more.

I believe the way we were going; we were not going to achieve anything. You know the meetings of the ZPF supreme decision making body can last for eight hours and nothing is resolved.

Instead of discussing real issues, people discuss gossip and gossip and nothing is achieved and the leader has no control. Whoever thinks of shouting shouts and so forth? I could no longer be a part of that.

Q: With everything happening, do you see yourself going back to Zanu PF? 

A: To What? Zanu PF? Me? Never. Never. Not Zanu PF.

Q: What is your next move from here?

A: We are going to try reform ZPF and make it work for the people.

What happened (squabbles that led to desertions), it was not representative of the party, it was unilateral.

So it defeats the purpose that we are People First when we take unilateral decisions.

We are back again to Zanu PF dictatorial tendencies.

Comments (12)

Come on Agrippa you jumped before you were pushed. You cant hold democratic values and have been part of zanu for all those years unless you had a Damascus moment when you realised that the people who were protecting you and feeding you were expendible.

Lt General - 14 February 2017

ZANU PF ideology will never die in people who once held high positions in ZANU PF never. The only democratic thinking is in MDC-T. This is why it remains the people's party. If people are genuine they have to join an established Party.

mwenewazvo - 14 February 2017

imi anaNyanini. Learn to work together not against each other.

selele - 14 February 2017

These bigwigs are tied to ZanuPF through the farms they took under the approval of Mugabe. Why do they still calling Mugabe? People should also remember they were fired, they did not resign like what Dr Mujuru. If Mugabe had not kicked them out.they would have been in ZanuPF TRAUMATIZING us. Leave Mujuru alone.

Gandanga - 14 February 2017

I have said this many times before, but I repeat it again. Unless and until we stop the politis of personalities and start politics of policies and empowering institutions, we are never going to rid ourselves of the tomfoolery we keep repeating. Political parties must have an agenda guided by a certain set of core principles (values if you may). Then there needs to be concrete plans to deal with governance, on a whole host of issues. What are the prescribed ways to get the country moving forward. This business of putting faith in individuals is what has led us where we are. Because even with people of good intentions as I believe mai Mujuru to be, without the confines of institutional democracy, power can corrupt the mind. This goes for Tsvangirayi, Dabengwa, Ncube, Makoni, Biti etc. Everyone wants to be the leader even when they don't have anyone following them. I suggest that we should have an open debate and ask these political party leaders to a debate stage like most nations do. Televised live and they can answer questions as to what they will do for the nation on a, b,c,d and e... This should include Mugabe by the way. Zvobgo used to do this for ZANU-PF back in the day.

gudo - 14 February 2017

ssd chemical solution automatic cleaning black and darkened currrency all notes contact +27731917660

isaac - 15 February 2017

If people like Mutambara were real serious about democracy they would have joined full fledged democratic parties like MDC T.These guys are planted by zanu pf party to cause confusion in opposition parties that zanu pf sees as a threat to its stranglehold to power.They were actually paid handsomely by zanu after after the fiasco that happened in zpf though it might be difficult to prove it.They join opposition parties as genuine members and as soon as they get the chance to cause chaos they strike were it hurts most.I have always said that Zanu pf is a mafia organisation disguising as a party.It ceased to be a political party soon after independence but most of us are just too blind to see that.

Janana wa Bikaz - 15 February 2017

Aptly presented - Gudo - I hope MDC T have ready your article powerful institutions will take Zim out of this quagmire not individuals. You call yourselves 'the only game in town'please dont give your president the sole right on issues like coalescing with other opposition parties.

Sinyo - 15 February 2017

MDC-T is not a democratic party, itz Tsvangirai Dictatorship.Like Mugabe at zanu pf Tsvangirai has treated MDC -T as his own shirt since its formation in1999.As itz at present itz nothing to learn abt democracy but dictatorship.Along the course many people, including Roy bunnet who financed party since its formation, urged Tsvangirai to give way for others , but he steadfastly refused,choosing instead to cling to MDC presidency,in large way exhibiting & sending off undemocratic characteristics entrenched deep within the person,he continued to manipulate the calls, counting on naive&un-informed base of supporters whom he continues to exploite for their lack of access to information & education abt democracy;hence the call by that other Gudo in the preceeding

addmore gudo - 15 February 2017

MDC-T is not a democracy but Tsvangirai autocracy & dictatorship just as zunu pf is to Mugabe

addmore gudo - 15 February 2017

Ambassador Mutambara politics in Zimbabwe does need people like you.

WeGuruve - 15 February 2017

I think it is critical in this discourse that we differentiate between state president and an opposition leader.tsvangirai leader is an opposition and the best foot forward for mdc under the circumstances.let us not forget that this guy became president when professors were present.the simple reason is that pple feared for their lives.now that it is safe,everyone wants to lead.I think it would be better to allow tsvangirai to complete the journey and like mandela he will hand over the button.if we are not careful we can allow spineless leaders to take over and the consequences would be drastic

major zib - 15 February 2017

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