By Ndabeni Mlothswa
Bulawayo — ZIMBABWE’S political landscape is chaotic ahead of polls next year amid the ruling and opposition parties torn by factionalism. Opposition leader, Joice Mujuru, disclosed she had snubbed fellow ex-combatants hopeful of a coalition with her party, dismissing them as agents of the ruling Zanu (PF) to further destabilize the crisis-torn opposition.
Mujuru, who insisted she remained the president of Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) despite a vote of no confidence by so-called party elders she ironically dismissed from the party recently, alleged her former allies were now aligned to a faction of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF).
She last week expelled Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa, who co-founded ZimPF with her following their expulsion from Zanu (PF) in 2015. “Exactly a week after we expelled them, they were in a meeting with war veterans aligned to the Zanu (PF) group supporting (Vice President Emmerson) Mnangagwa,” Mujuru told a rally in Gwanda, south of Zimbabwe. “We had been infiltrated by Zanu (PF) in our leadership through those people who kept calling themselves founding elders. That is why we fired them,” Mujuru said. Mujuru disclosed she had resisted propositions by a group of former freedom fighters of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) to forge unity.
The ex-combatants groups broke ranks with the faction-riddled Zanu (PF) and have opposed plans by Mugabe to seek re-election in 2018 and support Mnangagwa. Mujuru accused the group of obstructing coalition negotiations with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Morgan Tsvangirai. “For a long time, we thought they were genuine and gave them the benefit of the doubt but it became clear they did not want anything to move,” said Mujuru. She however reiterated the planned coalition of opposition parties would not be affected by recent problems in the party.