Sunday, 22 May 2016


ZIMBABWE People First has been rocked by factionalism with Mr Didymus Mutasa alleged to be leading a group called Chirenje which is against the interim leader of the party, Dr Joice Mujuru’s move to try to create structures that also involve former MDC formations supporters in leadership positions, The SundayNews can reveal.

Mr Mutasa — who was fired from Zanu-PF as Secretary for Administration alongside Dr Mujuru who was the party’s Vice-President for allegedly trying to overthrow the political organisation’s leader President Mugabe — is reported to be insisting that ZPF is a splinter from Zanu-PF and is not interested in former MDC formations members being given leadership positions.

The source of the problem is that Mr Mutasa is reported to be now gunning for the party’s presidency as Dr Mujuru is merely seen as an interim leader of the political outfit, sources said.

Dr Mujuru on the other hand is reported to be interested in “inclusivity” in leadership positions — that is former Zanu-PF supporters and those from the MDCs. The situation has resulted in the party having parallel structures.

Contacted by telephone yesterday to comment on the allegations, Mr Mutasa, interjected before this reporter had finished asking the question. “It’s nonsense,” he said. “Don’t go about it and you know yourself its nonsense.”

When further questioned whether he was aware of what he was being accused of Mr Mutasa said: “I am aware of it and its nonsense and I don’t want to talk to you about it at all.”

But sources in the party said so serious was the problem caused by the friction that Dr Mujuru is reported to have asked the interim Women’s League chairperson, Mrs Margaret Dongo and a member in charge of mobilisation, Mr Dzikamai Mavhaire to go to different parts of the country having meetings to solve the problem of the parallel structures.

Mrs Dongo was tasked to hold meetings in Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Masvingo and Midlands while Mr Mavhaire would visit Harare, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East and Manicaland.

According to the party’s mobilisation circular number one dated 10 May 2016, it stated: “To promote inclusivity within our party, there shall be provincial visits, to assess the level of inclusivity, explain and promote the same to our constituency leadership.”

The document said those who were supposed to attend the meetings were, “all provincial leaders who are serving in national management committees, all provincial leaders (co-ordinators and assistants, freedom fighters co-ordinators) and there would ‘‘be no budgetary support from elsewhere’’ for the programme.

“The programme was supposed to run from 18 to 22 May but was apparently cancelled at the last minute as in Bulawayo Cde Dongo was supposed to have a meeting on Wednesday at a hall in the city centre but she did not turn up and she was then supposed to go to Matabeleland North on Thursday, Matabeleland South on Friday, Masvingo today (Saturday) and Midlands tomorrow (Sunday),” said the source.

“As you can see, the circular pencilled the visits by Mavhaire as follows: Harare 18 May, Mashonaland West 19 May, Mashonaland Central 20 May, Mashonaland East 21 May and Manicaland 22 May.”

It was not clear why the programme had been stopped but sources said there might have been fears that fights might have broken out between the members of the parallel structures. “The parallel structures issue is proving to be a thorn in the flesh of the party,” said another source within the party.

Contacted for comment, the party’s interim chairperson of the information and publicity committee, Mr Methuseli Moyo confirmed there was a programme on “inclusivity” that was supposed to have taken place.

“The programme of the inclusivity has nothing to do with factionalism,” he said. “It’s just that we had people from various parties and naturally we need to blend. It was to orient members so that they sing from the same platform. It was not because there was any problem at all. The cancellation of the programme was for logistical reasons. The people were ready but the logistics were not ready.”


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