The ruling Zanu PF has dismissed reports that former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s yet to be launched People First has signed an accord seeking to force the government’s hand to level the political playing field by implementing electoral reforms ahead of the crucial 2018 polls.
According to Bishop Ancelmo Magaya, who is coordinating an initiative for political parties in the country to unite and push Harare for electoral reforms, former Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa endorsed the reforms petition, the National Electoral Reforms Agenda document, and appended his signature Tuesday on behalf of People First.
Magaya also said the Zimbabwe National Agreement Platform, under which the various political parties will work together, will be launched Friday at the City Sports Centre, where representatives from civic society groups, churches and political parties are expected to chart the country’s new political course.
Commenting, Zanu PF member, Gadzira Chirumanzu, said the political parties are wasting their time, adding President Robert Mugabe and his revolutionary party, are not about to be dislodged by anyone.
“The problem we have in Zimbabwe, including the media, is that they keep on alluding to this thing, this animal or movement called People First,” he said. “It is not existing and it does not have any leadership and it is not even worth discussing.”
But political analyst Sydney Chisi, who was on the same VOA panel discussion with Chirumanzu, said Zanu PF would be kidding itself if it failed to take People First seriously.
“It will be very foolhardy for Zanu PF to ignore People First. For Zanu PF to say it’s a non-event that will be fooling themselves,” said Chisi.
But Chirumanzu maintained nothing will change in the way Zimbabwe is run even as the opposition parties come together Friday for a national convention.
“The political situation in Zimbabwe remains the same that there are many organizations and political parties trying to push Zanu PF from power but all their moves have come to naught since 2000 so to be honest, this is nothing to write home about,” said Chirumanzu.
Zimbabweans have been eagerly awaiting the launch of People First since Mujuru was ousted from Zanu PF. Sources say the party is reaching out to the grassroots level though it still hasn’t been launched officially.
Chisi said maybe Mujuru and her team are trying to avoid being victimized by Zanu PF hence they are taking their time to formerly launch.