The People First movement says the surprise moves it has sprung on President Robert Mugabe and his post-congress Zanu PF, including former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s dramatic re-entry into formal national politics a fortnight ago, are only the beginning of many such gambits that it plans to launch over the next few months.
Liberation struggle stalwart and People First spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that the movement’s modus operandi was premised on “shocking and surprising” their political foes.
“There is more coming, similar to the launch of our Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (Build manifesto) which caught the post-congress Zanu PF flat-footed and left many in that party rattled,” Gumbo said.
The warning comes as many Zanu PF Members of Parliament who are aligned to Mujuru say they are contemplating resigning their seats en masse, in a move that could trigger early national polls and put Mugabe and his bitterly-divided ruling party under even more pressure.
Gumbo said his group would not “relent” until Mugabe and his post-congress Zanu PF were ousted from power and “stopped from holding back the country through their repugnant policies that are benefitting a few and well-connected individuals”.
He said since the launch of their manifesto, there had been “palpable fear and worry in the corridors of power”, as demonstrated by the “ramped up surveillance” by government spooks on Mujuru and her allies.
“However, all this (increased government surveillance on People First promoters) will come to nothing as we have absolutely nothing to hide. The fact is, we have announced our entrance into the political arena and there is no going back.
“Given the political atmosphere prevailing in the country, the only way forward is to make sure that everything goes according to plan. They (post-congress Zanu PF) are going to get a lot of shocks. It is simple as that.
“The future of this country lies with people and not the post-congress Zanu PF. While there are a lot of threats from the predictable quarters, where even in the security sector people are scared, we are not afraid.
“This is not about a small group of people that include Mai Mujuru, Mutasa and I alone, this is about the people of Zimbabwe, who are thoroughly fed up,” Gumbo said.
Asked when the People First movement would become a fully-fledged political party, Gumbo said, “We are working hard on various aspects of forming a party, such as writing a constitution and finalising the legal documents, and when we are ready, we will shock them even more”.
What has particularly rattled Mugabe and his post-congress Zanu PF over the past few days is the prospect of Mujuru and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreeing an electoral pact that could see the two leaders joining forces to end Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s long rule in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.
Meanwhile, former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, says all the Zanu PF MPs who are sympathetic to Mujuru should resign their seats at the earliest opportunity, in order to end the ruling party’s protracted rule.
“They should not be cowards and must just come out now. We have our people there (in Parliament) and they should master the courage and show their true colours,” he said.
Asked if it was strategic for the concerned legislators to come out now when there was no party to talk about and when the perceived leader of the party, Mujuru, has not pronounced herself unequivocally about her relationship with the party, Mutasa said the former VP would do so in due course.
“We have told them (the MPs) to be ready. Isn’t it that people like me are already in the party. Kana uri murutsva usatya kusviba ...(Let’s confront them head-on) We are not scared, in fact there is nothing to be scared of,” Mutasa said.