Fresh turmoil looms in ZimPF
FRESH turmoil is looming in the Zimbabwe People First party over the selection of a steering committee charged with organising the party’s elective congress set to be held before the end of this year.
Insiders said the disagreements within the Dr Joice Mujuru-led party over the appointments coupled with jockeying for positions was likely to delay the convention.
The ZimPF structures met in Bulawayo on Monday where it was announced that chairperson of the party’s information and publicity subcommittee, Mr Methuseli Moyo, former war veterans’ leader Mr Jabulani Sibanda and a Dr Linda Dube had been appointed to the steering committee for the convention.
“At least with Bulawayo, acceptable names were selected so there isn’t much chaos compared to other provinces like Masvingo for instance where there was fierce resistance to the appointment of a certain Makova,” said a party insider.
“When Mujuru visited Masvingo for the burial of Kudzai Mbudzi, she came face to face with the simmering tensions over the appointments. The argument from the people is that these appointments were unilaterally made by Mujuru and members of her close circle — all formerly from Zanu-PF.”
The tensions, according to insiders, have spread to the party’s WhatsApp chat groups with members trading insults.
“There seems to be a tendency by Mujuru to want to surround herself with those she came with from Zanu-PF and shun other people and as a result, some youths in the chat groups have labelled the party ‘Zanu B’ arguing that she’s going out of her way to retain her Zanu-PF identity,’ said an insider.
“The disagreements over the members of the steering committee and the jostling for positions will further delay the dates for the convention because if we go ahead like this, there will be serious chaos.”
Recent reports indicated that Dr Mujuru was likely to face a challenge from Ms Margaret Dongo in the race for the party presidency at the convention and other members reportedly eyeing the post.
The party, which fell out with Mr Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over allegations of poaching members, has also failed to agree with the MDC-T over coalition talks with wide divisions over the distribution of positions and who would lead the outfit.
Mr Moyo last night confirmed the appointment of steering committees but dismissed claims that they had caused ructions in the party.
“Yes, the president in consultation with the elders, has set up a steering committee to steer the party up to congress, at which an elected substantive executive committee will take over,” he said.
“Each province has two people in the steering committee and all wings and provinces provide more members to the sub committees of the main steering committee. Again, the diversity in terms of former party affiliation of steering committee members will prove your sources wrong.”
Mr Moyo said Dr Mujuru has been preaching and practising inclusivity in ZimPF.
“Her appointments and conduct bear testimony to that. If there is anyone who is against inclusivity in the party certainly it is not Dr JTR Mujuru. It must be someone else. Let your sources tell you who it is. Mujuru makes it clear to us daily that she wants to lead all Zimbabweans,” he said.
Professor Jonathan Moyo