Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Time for Zanu-PF to Reorganise Itself
February 17, 2016
Opinion & Analysis
Mukachana Hanyani Correspondent
Zimbabwe Herald

It is a fact that Zanu-PF is still powerful but it should ensure that its electoral groundwork is solid to avoid the backlash which other revolutionary parties in the region faced some few years ago. In most instances some opposition political parties which were formed by disgruntled members of the ruling elite towards elections become threats to the ruling parties.

Recent reports by both the private and public media indicating that the People First project led by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru has registered with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as a political party should be a wake-up call for zanu-pf to ensure that it gets united and focus more on the total implementation of Zim-Asset.

The People First project, which is now known as Zimbabwe People First Party (ZPFP), is now reportedly to be on a drive to recruit its members from both the ruling party and opposition political parties.

So the coming in of the ZPFP into the political limelight is not good news to the ruling party considering that this new opposition political party is made up of mainly former Zanu-PF members who were fired after the December 2014 6th Zanu-PF People`s Congress.

Those people felt that they were not fairly treated when they were dismissed from the revolutionary party and they chose to form their political party as a means to challenge Zanu-PF in the 2018 harmonised elections. It is their belief that their dismissal from Zanu-PF was not procedural hence the move to form an opposition party to seek their innocence through the ballot.

History has shown that political parties formed by disgruntled former members of the ruling elite towards elections sometimes take ruling parties by surprise in general elections. Zanu-PF should make sure that it continues to be on the ground meeting the electorate and making sure that the 2013 harmonised elections promises are fulfilled in total.

Factional wars and divisions within the ruling party should cease and all members come together to prepare for the 2018 harmonised elections as a unit.

The formation of the ZPFP cannot be taken lightly considering that the 2018 harmonised elections are some few months away and the People First party may want to ride on the economic problems prevailing in the country. zanu-pf should be united and ensure that the factional wars that are threatening to destroy this revolutionary party are stopped forthwith, replacing them with the unity of purpose.

Current factional wars and dismissals of individuals in the party are not healthy as such a move can come to haunt the zanu-pf in the 2018 harmonised elections. Those dismissed from the ruling party allegedly end up finding themselves sheltered in this new ZPFP, making it appear as a saviour to those facing their political demise.

It is a fact that zanu-pf is still powerful but it should ensure that its electoral groundwork is solid to avoid the backlash which other revolutionary parties in the region faced some few years ago. In most instances some opposition political parties which were formed by disgruntled members of the ruling elite towards elections become threats to the ruling parties.

It should be known by the zanu-pf leadership that its dominance could be tested if those spearheading factional wars are not restricted. It has been discovered that some revolutionary parties which lost power in the region were removed by new political parties which were formed by disgruntled members of those ruling parties towards elections and zanu-pf may not be an exception if factional wars are not stopped.

Zimbabweans in general and zanu-pf in particular should recall that in 1994 Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which was led by Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, fell victim to Bakili Muluzi’s United Democratic Party (UDF) which was formed only two years earlier. Some former disgruntled members of the MCP who felt that they were sidelined by the leadership of MCP in many important issues decided to form the UDF and the results were seen in the defeat of the MCP in the 1994 general elections.

While some people would want to call this writer a prophet of doom those with zanu-pf at heart should take this writer seriously. In Zambia, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) led by Dr Kenneth Kaunda – in power for more than three decades – fell victim to the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) in 1991, just a year after Frederick Chiluba formed his party to challenge UNIP.

UNIP, a revolutionary party like the MCP, has now disappeared from the political limelight because the then ruling elite failed to see the dangers associated with those new political parties. zanu-pf should take that as a lesson and create unity within the party before it becomes history like other revolutionary parties that failed to see the writing on the wall.

For that reason, zanu-pf should ensure that its house is in order to counter the emergence of People First. The ZPFP, being a party formed by disgruntled members from the ruling party, could come to surprise zanu-pf in the 2018 harmonised elections the same way UNIP and MCP were surprised by the MMD and UDF respectively in their countries.

Divisions within Zanu-PF could lead to the ZPFP harvesting more supporters from those disgruntled members from the ruling party.

It should also be known that the Kenyan African National Union (Kanu), which was then under Daniel Arap Moi after the death of its founding president Jomo Kenyatta, lost power to the coalition of some opposition political parties in 2002 as some disgruntled members of that revolutionary party parted ways with it and formed a myriad of opposition political parties

Mwai Kibaki, who headed the National Rainbow Coalition (NRC) in 2001, found himself the new Kenyan president after the 2002 elections, meaning that new political parties formed towards elections are always a threat to revolutionary parties. As such, zanu-pf should guard against that so that the ZPFP won’t replay what other new political parties did in the region.

Recently the Masvingo Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) was advised by Cde Josiah Hungwe, the Politburo member from that province, to stop dismissing people from the party saying that doing so was campaigning for People First. Cde Hungwe`s advice to the Masvingo PCC should be heeded by all zanu-pf members across the country so that the ruling party is not defeated in the 2018 harmonised elections because of disunity.

Some people may fail to appreciate and understand the importance of such advice but those with the revolutionary party at heart should take that advice seriously and make the ruling party stronger again.

Hearken, Joice Mujuru speaks again!

February 18, 2016
Opinion & Analysis
Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor

In her interview with VOA, Mujuru brags that all systems are in place as she has done the “best recruitment. . . from Beitbridge to Mukumbura; from the border with Botswana to border Mozambique (sic) and I think we have done that.”

Former Vice President Joice Mujuru is talking again. She was ditched from Zanu-PF in 2014 and she did not make as much as a whimper, despite being at the centre of a plot to unconstitutionally unseat President Mugabe.

It was a plot, we heard, that would even get nastier with the possibility of physical elimination, the Laurent Kabila way.

Mujuru commanded a whole legion of rebels from the provinces and other party structures, and the rebels were purged before and after her own expulsion from the party.

But she remained quiet: Not a fight for subalterns, so much so that it bred bitterness; and least for herself, as she seemed content staying at her farm in Beatrice.

She refused to entertain interviews from newspapers.

There are two fellows who would speak on her behalf.

They are Messrs Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa, who were also purged from Zanu-PF where they previously held powerful positions of spokesman and Secretary for Administration, respectively.

Sometimes you had a feeling that they were speaking for themselves, which is not to be discounted.

In fact, they had long begun to bore us with their ostentations.

The other time The Herald’s Political Editor asked Mujuru about her silence and whether Gumbo and Mutasa spoke on her behalf.

She refused to come out clean and declare openly her plans, nor to confirm whether Gumbo and Mutasa were her spokespersons.

But things are changing now.

Mujuru gave an interview to the pirate radio station Voice of America’s Studio7, which aired on Tuesday.

Perhaps that is not the first important thing.

The first is that she registered her party, the Zimbabwe People First Party with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission last Friday.

She says she should have done that mid last year but waited to convince herself that it was the “best thing”.

She talks about her expulsion from the ruling party and gives her assessment of what is obtaining now (though she says she wants to stay out of it).

And, the most instructive part of the audio recording:

“VOA: So we can safely say you are now leading this party; you are the interim president?

Mujuru: Yes, please!” (transcription mine).

The interview, according to the audio posted on the pirate radio station’s website, is just two minutes, 46 seconds long, but it would be useful to know why Mujuru has her confidence back — now.

To be blunt about it, Joice Mujuru has been emboldened by what is happening in Zanu-PF at the moment where palpable animosity is characterising two contending factions.

It does not take genius, or we do not think that it is a crime to mention, as is now public knowledge, that the contending factions are what are referred to as Team Lacoste and G40.

The fight between the two sides has been as public as they have been nasty.

There is a genuine and continuing fear among Zimbabweans that the ruling party is headed for a split and there are many ingredients in the mix.

The party’s wings and key constituents have been divided.

The youth are divided. The women are divided.

The main wing is divided — as are war veterans, a key ally of the ruling party.

What is worse are revelations that even the security arms of the country are divided among factional lines, and that there has been lobbying for positions and goading and promises by certain factional elements.

Not least, the media is divided with some editors, motivated by treachery, greed and tribalism, already packing their bags in anticipation of rewarding jobs elsewhere.

It is an incendiary situation and one that may take a small spark to devour the behemoth of the ruling party, and worse still, the State and nation as we have all grown up to know them.

While this sends tears biting the honest hearts of patriots, there are people waiting in the wings to pick the twigs of the fallen tree.

We are sure hostile governments have ordered more supplies of popcorn.

Who would not enjoy the drama?

In this vein, comes our Joice Mujuru.

She has long been considered to be the “moderate”, alternative leader of Zanu-PF, before she was booted out.

If she were to come to the party, the collapse of Zanu-PF would play into her hands.

She fancies, and is fancied, to have revolutionary credentials and experience of State.

What is also critical is that she has a sizeable support base and hangers-on, and it will be folly to gainsay it, although they can’t be quantified.

We have not been blind to her forays across the country as she canvassed support and set up interim structures.

In her interview with VOA, Mujuru brags that all systems are in place as she has done the “best recruitment. . . from Beitbridge to Mukumbura; from the border with Botswana to border Mozambique (sic) and I think we have done that.”

Very soon she will officially launch her party, and from the looks of things, it will not be something small.

One cannot be sure if the ruling party will not be taken by surprise.

Or perhaps, it won’t, since there have been whispers that some people have been talking to Mujuru and her band for factional or personal benefit.

The next few weeks will be interesting.

If not bloody.

The prayer on everyone’s lips is that there will be intervention by authorities to halt the worrying slide towards anarchy in the ruling party.

It would be such a sad day to see the disintegration of the ruling party leaving the country at the mercy of opportunists, at best, or sellout outfits fronting the interests of foreign governments.

And it has to be noted here and now that there is a seasoned campaigner by the name of Morgan Tsvangirai who, despite poor fortunes lately, has really not gone under, even when resources are thin.

He has been touring the country and has more or less maintained his support base, which to all intents and purposes, has been constant.

On a good day in 2018, with the prospective weakening of the ruling Zanu-PF, he may just be the dog that runs away with the bone.

He has done it before, albeit unconvincingly.

Mujuru Speaks: I Am Leading Opposition Zimbabwe People First Party

by Blessing  Zulu

Former Vice President Joice Mujuru has for the first time confirmed that she is leading the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) expected to contest the country’s much-anticipated 2018 general elections.

In an exclusive interview with Voice of America’s Studio 7, Mrs. Mujuru was asked if she is indeed now the interim president of the party, she replied, “Yes please.”

She had come under fire from some political analysts who accused her of leading from the back and speaking only through proxies. Mrs. Mujuru, who on Friday registered her own political party – ZPF - says she is now ready to lead the party.

“We are pleased to announce the formal registration of Zimbabwe People First as a political party through the lodging of the constitution of the party with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the 12th of February 2016”.

The former vice president says the formal registration was done after serious consultations. “In fact, I should have done it mid-last year, but because I was refusing to do that without convincing myself that I had done the thorough recruitment I wanted before taking that step.”


Mrs. Mujuru is a former guerrilla fighter from the liberation war in the former Rhodesia and the widow of former army commander General Solomon Mujuru, who died in a mysterious house fire in 2011.

After holding cabinet posts in successive governments since independence in 1980, Mrs. Mujuru came under heavy attack from President Robert  Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who was promoted to head the ruling Zanu-PF’s powerful Women’s League.

The former vice president, who turns 61 in April, was accused of “plotting to unconstitutionally remove President Robert Mugabe from office”, according to a statement from Zanu PF spokesman Simon Khaya-Moyo released in April, 2015.

Addressing journalists at the Zanu-PF Harare Headquarters after the party’s Politburo meeting, Moyo said the decision had been reached after wide consultation.

 “The grounds for Joice Mujuru’s expulsion from Zanu-PF included but not limited to the following; plotting to unconstitutional remove the President and First secretary of the party from office: orchestrating the ‘bhora musango’ campaign to the detriment of the party’s interests, orchestrating factionalism in the party thereby causing acrimonious divisions; abusing party structures to create a competing center of national power; engaging in behavior unbecoming of a vice president and second secretary of the party; systematically collaborating and colluding with the enemy in a manner that undermines the party to risk bringing it  into disrepute; engaging in activities that smack of corruption; engaging in criminal abuse of office; impugning, maligning and undermining the party and the president and providing leadership to the regime change and fifth column politics within ZANU-PF”.

Mrs. Mujuru has consistently denied all these allegations.


Mrs. Mujuru was long considered a likely successor to Mr. Mugabe, who turns 92 this month before falling out of favor.  Mr. Mugabe replaced her as vice-president with his justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has also come under fire for allegedly plotting to remove him from power.

Again First Lady Grace Mugabe is leading the charge against Mnangagwa.

Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Kanyemba School in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central Province, Mrs. Mugabe said President Robert Mugabe is not happy with growing factionalism in his party.

Mrs. Mugabe took a swipe at the so-called Team Lacoste, a Zanu PF faction allegedly led by Vice President Mnangagwa, saying the camp is fueling divisions in the fractious ruling party.

Mnangagwa is reportedly angling himself to succeed President Mugabe when he eventually leaves office.  Mrs. Mugabe told supporters – without mentioning names - that some people in Zanu PF have too much zeal for power in such a way that they now want to remove President Mugabe from his position even through illegal means.

She declared that Mr. Mugabe will contest the 2018 elections representing the party. Party chairperson from Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Midlands, who are Mnangagwa’s close allies, were suspended Sunday for allegedly fanning factionalism.

Mrs. Mujuru says she is not surprised by the escalating tensions in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

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