People First: wake up call for Zanu PF

RECENT reports that the People First project led by the former Vice President Joyce Mujuru has registered as a political party should be a wakeup call for Zanu PF to unite and focus more on the total implementation of ZIMASSET.

Joice Mujuru

Joice Mujuru

Known as the Zimbabwe People First Party (ZPFP), Mujuru’s project is now reportedly on a massive recruitment drive, targeting members of both the ruling party and opposition parties.

So, the coming in of the ZPFP into the political limelight is not good news for the ruling party considering that this new kid on the block is made up of mainly former Zanu PF members who were fired after the December 2014 6th congress. Those people felt that they were not fairly treated when they were dismissed from the revolutionary party and chose to form their own party to contest the 2018 polls.

As such, Zanu PF should take seriously the fact that Mujuru and colleagues have formed a political party because history has shown that political parties formed by disgruntled former members of the ruling elite towards elections sometimes pull surprises at the polls. Zanu PF should make sure that it continues to be on the ground meeting the electorate and making sure that the 2013 harmonised elections promises are fulfilled in total. Factional wars and divisions within the ruling party should cease and all members should come together to prepare for the 2018 harmonized elections as a unit.

The formation of the ZPFP is something which cannot be taken lightly considering that the 2018 harmonized elections are just 24 or so months away. The new party may want to ride on the economic decline prevailing in the country. Zanu PF should, as such, be united and make sure the factional wars that are threatening to destroy this revolutionary party are stopped forthwith, replacing them with the unity of purpose. Current factional wars and dismissal of individuals from the party are not healthy. Those dismissed from the ruling party may end up sheltered in this new ZPFP making it appear as a saviour to those who would be facing their political demise.

It is a fact that Zanu PF is still powerful and has state resources at its disposal hence it should make sure that its electoral ground work is well prepared to avoid the backlash which other revolutionary parties in the region faced some in the early 1990s. In most instances, some opposition parties which are formed by disgruntled members of the ruling elite towards elections become threats to the ruling parties. It should be known to the Zanu PF leadership that the party’s dominance in the county could be tested heavily if those spearheading factional wars are not restricted.

Zimbabweans in general and Zanu PF members in particular will recall that in 1994 Kamuzu Banda’s Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lost to Bakili Muluzi`s United Democratic Party (UDF) which entered the elections being only two years old. Some former disgruntled members of the MCP who felt that they were side-lined by the party leadership in many important issues, decided to form the UDF and the result was Banda’s defeat.

While some people may call this writer a prophet of doom those with Zanu PF at heart should take this warning seriously. In Zambia, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) led by Kenneth Kaunda, in power for three decades, fell victim to the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) in 1991, just a year after Fredrick Chiluba formed his party to challenge for power. Both UNIP and the MCP have since disappeared from the political limelight in their respective countries because the then ruling elites failed to foresee dangers lying ahead. Zanu PF should take that as a lesson and create unity within the party before it becomes history like other revolutionary parties that failed to see the writing on their wall.

It is clear, therefore, that Zanu PF should make sure that its house is in order as a means to counter the emergence of the People First. Divisions could lead to the ZPFP harvesting more members from those disgruntled members from the ruling party.

It should also be noted that the Kenyan African National Union (KANU) which was then under Daniel Arap Moi, after the death of its founding president Jomo Kenyatta, lost power to a coalition of some opposition political parties in 2002 as some disgruntled members parted way with that revolutionary party to form own organisations. Mwai Kibaki who headed the National Rainbow Coalition (NRC) in 2001 found himself a new Kenyan president after the 2002 elections meaning that new political parties formed on the eve of elections are always a threat to revolutionary parties. As such, Zanu PF should guard against that so that the ZPFP won’t replay what other new political parties achieved in the region.

Recently, the Masvingo Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) was advised by Josiah Hungwe, a Politburo member from that province, to stop dismissing people from the party saying that doing so was campaigning for the People First. Hungwe’s advice to the Masvingo PCC should be heeded by all Zanu PF members across the country so that the ruling party is not defeated in the 2018 harmonized elections because of disunity. Some people may fail to appreciate and understand the importance of such an advice but those with the revolutionary party at heart should take that advice seriously and make the ruling party stronger again.

 

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