Former vice-president Joice Mujuru registered her Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Friday marking her official entry into opposition politics.
OBEY MANAYITI/NUNURAI JENA
Mujuru — who is the interim ZPF president — yesterday said the party was humbled by the support received from Zimbabweans since their expulsion from Zanu PF.
“We are pleased to announce the formal registration of Zimbabwe People First as a party through the lodging of a constitution of the party with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the 12th of February 2016,” she said in a statement.
“People First is a home-grown, inclusive party that will promote the wishes and aspirations of Zimbabweans first.
“We are humbled by the huge amount of encouragement, enthusiasm and support shown by people from all walks of life of this our great nation towards this noble cause that we are embarking on.”
Mujuru was fired from Zanu PF last year on allegations of trying to topple President Robert Mugabe. She was fired alongside several top ruling party officials who are now part of ZPF.
ZPF interim spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday said the new party was now looking forward to holding its inaugural congress.
Gumbo said they had concluded provincial consultative meetings to get the people’s views.
“We were holding provincial consultative meetings which went well. We were meeting the people to get the way forward,” Gumbo said.
“We will have a press conference next week followed by the launch and then congress but we don’t know when.”
Sources said the party concluded its programme to set up structures with a meeting in Bulawayo last week.
“Bulawayo provincial structures auditing was carried out on Thursday and about 300 leaders from the 12 Bulawayo province constituencies were present with representation from all four wings namely youth, women’s league, freedom fighters and main wing,” said the source.
“Delegates were addressed by Mujuru to strengthen them ahead of the upcoming launch. We have been meeting in provinces and the party took shape a long time ago.”
Mujuru launched her manifesto namely Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (BUILD) last September, which the party expects to be a key driver to stir their activities.
A number of officials from different parties have already jumped ship to Mujuru’s party, while opposition parties themselves have also shown a desire to work with her.
Meanwhile, ZPF started with a bang in Chinhoyi when about 300 officials from ward structures gathered for a provincial meeting yesterday.
Former Information deputy minister Bright Matonga urged members to desist from violence and reminded them not to bring their political jackets from Zanu PF, MDC or any other party into the new party.
“You people who are coming from different political parties, unite, move as one entity because we are in the mobilising phase. You need one another more, please don’t bring the spirit of the love of money,” he said.
He said since ZPF was now a registered party, members should follow the laws of the country in whatever they do.
Matonga said they respected the army and the police.
“We don’t ridicule the police, we respect the army, we don’t want violence in our party” said Matonga.
A former minister in Mujuru’s office, Sylvester Nguni said the ZPF constitution had limits of two terms for any position from wards to national and president of the party.
“All in all, no one should hold any portfolio for more than 10 years, that is two terms of fiveyears…..we have term limits” said Nguni.