By Tendai Kamhungira
Embattled former Vice President Joice Mujuru received more heavy blows yesterday after dozens of party heavyweights — including her former close confidante Sylvester Nguni — deserted her en masse, claiming that she was no different to President Robert Mugabe.
Among those who dumped her were retired brigadier-general Agrippa Mutambara and the leadership of the party’s youth league, although they all did not indicate their next move.
“I am disappointed that the sacred democratic values that I hold dear are once again being violated by the dismissals (of the party’s elders) and the promised further purges in ZPF,” Mutambara — who was left for dead by rampaging Zanu PF apparatchiks last year, as he tried to defend fellow ZPF comrades who were under siege — said.
ZPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire later confirmed to the Daily News that Nguni had also quit the troubled party in a huff.
Announcing his resignation at a press conference in Harare yesterday, ZPF interim youth deputy chairperson, Prosper Gavanga, said more than 20 other individuals had also announced their resignation.
“There was a lack of wisdom and lots of lies in how . . . Mujuru illegally removed people that invited her to lead ZPF, a party formed to take Zimbabwe out of its current quagmire and beyond.
“ . . . Mujuru lacks principle and wisdom. The same script that was used to remove her from Zanu PF . . . and many others who stood by her, not as an admission of guilt, but out of principle . . . is the same script she has adopted and improved even further,” Gavanga said.
He added that Mujuru as an interim leader of the party, did not have powers to expel any member of the party.
“How can the interim president of a party, whose leadership has not been ratified by members at a convention, walk out of her home’s bedroom or bathroom hands unwashed, with no due process or effort to meet her fellow comrades and resolve the matter, and make unsubstantiated claims at a press conference.
“She claims to be a democrat, yet acts like a first grade tyrant. Indeed, it has become apparent that whoever said she was simplistic and not ready to govern was correct.
“If she fails to manage her family and party, what qualifies her to govern a country and an economy of 14 million people?” Gavanga queried further.
The party’s interim youth chairperson, Luckson Kandemiri, said he had in fact resigned from ZPF in January, although Mujuru had stopped him from leaving and later purported to have expelled him.
Gavanga said the supposedly expelled people had a right to be heard through disciplinary processes before they could be fired.
In a stunning development on Wednesday, Mujuru announced that she had expelled some of the party’s founding members that included Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Margaret Dongo, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Claudius Makova.
However, the affected stalwarts, in turn, also announced later that they had summarily expelled her from the party — leaving ZPF in total limbo.
“She accuses Gumbo, Dongo, Mutasa and four others of ‘coup d’état and sophisticated infiltration without offering the slightest evidence or explanation, the exact same way Mugabe did it in Zanu PF.
“There is so much coincidence in her actions and Mugabe’s, leaving one to wonder whether could this be a student mimicking the teacher?
“She is so insecure to the extent of fabricating cases, accusing party members of mingling and stalling coalition talks when only last week she confessed that the coalition discussions were between her and (opposition leader Morgan) Tsvangirai.
“How then does she bring in a third and fourth person? Mugabe never took responsibility and passed blame for any failures to others, and it seems she learnt well,” the disaffected ZPF members also said in a statement.
“And as suspended members did not know about their charges or suspension till after the announcement in the media, they had no time to appeal and defend themselves.
“The president of the party does not chair, sit or announce the party’s disciplinary committee’s resolutions. This makes her decision and announcement null and void if not illegal,” they added. Daily News