A ZIMPF faction led by the founding elders will in May elect a substantive leader to take over from the caretaker leadership of Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo, NewsDay has established.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The two founding elders were recently appointed co-leaders following a nasty fallout with interim president Joice Mujuru, who is leading another faction battling to control the party.
Mujuru fired the founding elders along with five others on the basis that they had turned into Zanu PF agents and that they were against the formation of a coalition to face Zanu PF in 2018.
Although Mujuru has since replaced those that she expelled, the faction led by the elders met on Wednesday and removed from their hierarchy those that remained with Mujuru.
They said a substantive leader would be announced at an elective convention in May.
“The search for a substantive leader will be spearheaded by the founding elders and the steering committee and should be concluded with elections at the congress, which is expected to be held by end of May 2017,” read a statement released by both Gumbo and Mutasa yesterday.
“We, the founding elders, shall not be running for any elected office at the congress. Meanwhile, a committee has been put in place to drive preparations for the holding of the congress.”
Gumbo told NewsDay that provinces were expected to submit names of their preferred leaders, but they would establish a criteria and a reference point so that those selected meet the leadership qualities they want as a party.
The faction said it was getting stronger by the day and was gearing for elections, including next year’s general elections.
Gumbo added they were likely to join other opposition forces to form a formidable force against President Robert Mugabe in 2018.
The new steering committee comprises of Gumbo and Mutasa as founding elders, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, now in charge of administration, and Munacho Mutezo, as head of the finance department.
Agrippa Mutambara heads the external affairs department, while Jackie Sande is in the legal wing, Margaret Dongo (women’s wing), a Sakupwanya, Leonard Mathuthu (strategy) and one Chikerema will be in charge of information and publicity.