Members of the Mujuru faction have denied that they have formed a new party called Zanu-PF People First.
Recent reports had indicated that the faction, rocked and frustrated by purges instigated by the camp led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, had formed a new party and taken on board some powerful securocrats.
Rugare Gumbo, the former Zanu-PF secretary for information who has been doing much of the talking on behalf of the Mujuru members, said they would not form a new party. “How can we move away from a party of which we are legitimate members and form another? It would not make sense. Remember, we have a court application that we have made whereby we insist that we are bona fide party members and the processes that were used to fire us are un-procedural,” said Gumbo.
Gumbo was fired from the party during a Zanu-PF politburo meeting, and several others followed, including Joice Mujuru , who President Robert Mugabe has accused of trying to topple him from power.
“If anything, those that purportedly fired us from the party are the ones that must go and form their own party because they don’t share the original values of Zanu-PF. They are just pseudo revolutionary late comers who are looking for relevance,” said Gumbo, singling out Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere.
He said the recent dismissal of Mujuru from the party would not deter them, adding that the “mafikizolos” would not succeed in obliterating their faction.
“If they wanted to pre-empt Mai Mujuru’s contest as a possible presidential candidate in 2018 (when the next general elections are held), they are fools. There will not succeed in removing us from Zanu-PF and the people are with us,” he added.
Another expelled member, Temba Mliswa, who was the Mashonaland West provincial chair, said: “There is absolutely no need to create another structure (party). We are here to stay even though we are very much disappointed with that gang (Mnangagwa faction) that is tarnishing the image of our party”.
He reiterated that he would contest the June 10 by-election in Hurungwe West from which he was stood down after his expulsion from the party as an independent.
“The fact that I will contest as an independent does not mean I have abandoned Zanu-PF. I am standing for the interests of my Zanu-PF followers because they are disgruntled with what is happening currently,” said Mliswa.