HARARE - Disgruntled liberation struggle stalwarts, grouped under the “original” Zanu PF using the slogan, People First, are being cagey about when exactly they plan to officially launch their party.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily News last weekend, former Masvingo minister of State, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa said there were some outstanding key issues which needed to be addressed first before the launch.
The group had scheduled its launch for September.
“The dates of the congress will be set by the leadership,” Bhasikiti said.
“Who told you that the congress is in September? Don’t be anxious, we are going to come to you when we finish our preparations and you will tell the nation about the development.”
He dismissed outright, criticism that his party was made up of cowards unwilling to step up to plate, saying they are not an opposition party but they are coming in to govern the nation.
“We need to have our time to prepare for the official launch and it’s good to also give time to those who are criticising us saying our movement has suffered a stillbirth and is made up of cowards,” he said.
“We are coming to correct the economy and take Zimbabwe to a prosperous destination.”
Questioned on how they planned to regain state power, Bhasikiti said: “How can you talk about Zanu PF? The party has collapsed totally, things have fallen apart. Zanu PF is clueless. People should not fold their hands looking at all this madness happening.”
Bhasikiti also dismissed claims that Mujuru was undecided about her political future.
“People must be patient; I want to tell you that Mai Mujuru will come out at the right time,” he said.
“When I talk about the original Zanu PF which uses the People First slogan, Bhasikiti will not be the president if people think we are cowards, it’s their own imagination and from our side, we are still preparing for that right time to come.”
Mutasa, a former close confidante to Mugabe, lashed out at critics insinuating that their group is made up of cowards who are also “too compromised” to publicly challenge President Robert Mugabe and the post-congress Zanu PF, by officially forming and operationalising their political outfit.
“We are going to come to you when we set dates for the launch but for those who say we are cowards, you, personally, do you think I am a coward?” Mutasa asked rhetorically.
Last month, former Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland West, Temba Mliswa, said the reasons why Mujuru and the likes of Mutasa were being cagey about when exactly they would officially launch their party was because they were afraid of being arrested on one hand and also had a “misguided belief” that the former VP was “very popular”.
“The first thing is that these people worked with Mugabe for a long time and some of them are corrupt, so they are hesitant. They are clearly afraid.
“They also mistakenly think that Mujuru’s popularity within Zanu PF translates to popularity for a presidential bid. No, they are wrong,” Mliswa said.
He added that the fact that Mujuru shared her Zanu PF supporters with Mugabe “almost half-half” meant if she were to challenge for the presidency, their votes would be split to Tsvangirai’s advantage.
He said even if Mujuru and her allies hoped for a grand coalition with other opposition parties, the likes of Tsvangirai would get very little out of it as “the success of such a coalition depends on what you bring on the table”.