ZIMBABWE – Squabbles in People First, a project by expelled Zanu-PF members and allegedly led by ousted former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru, hit new depths on last week with officials publicly disowning each other. Former Zanu-PF youth member Mr Jimu Kunaka held a Press conference in Harare where he took a dig at expelled former Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Mr Temba Mliswa.
This was despite the fact that Messrs Kunaka and Mliswa used to both speak positively about the People First project and purported to front its youth wing. Mr Mliswa has been on a crusade to discredit other members of the project, especially its alleged leader Dr Mujuru. But Mr Kunaka dismissed Mr Mliswa’s actions as desperate and desirous efforts to scatter progress towards the successful launch of the party.
Mr Kunaka, who was flanked by two other youths, Messrs Tenson Kumbuna and Setfree Mafukidze, said Mr Mliswa’s behaviour was meant to kill chances of opposition political parties forming an alliance to challenge Zanu-PF in 2018.
“Mr Mliswa has never been part of us although he has tried in vain to usurp the leadership of our youth wing through his so-called Youth Advocacy for Electoral Democracy (YARD),” he said.
“YARD is not affiliated to the People First nor represents the ideological trajectory that we have taken as a party.” Mr Mliswa was widely quoted in the private media saying Dr Mujuru had “literally missed the bus” in politics. Mr Kunaka said PF believed that Mr Mliswa was being used by other politicians to weaken and deceive the electorate.
He said PF was not going to be part of Mr Mliswa’s envisaged militia training that he claimed was for self-defence as it did not believe in the use of violence in political mobilisation. “We will pursue non-violent means internally, regionally and internationally to ensure these fundamental ideals of a democratic society obtain in our beloved country,” said Mr Kunaka.
Asked why Dr Mujuru, whom he claimed was their leader, had never come up in the open declaring her position, Mr Kunaka said her silence was a strategy she would use to show herself once the party was launched.