Exiled former High Court judge Justice Benjamin Paradza has joined other Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to form a political party to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.
By Everson Mushava/Silence Charumbira
Justice Paradza, who is believed to be a practising lawyer in New Zealand, will be vice-president in a new political outfit, Zimbabweans United for Democracy (Zunde), which will be led by Farai Mbira, who had also been working outside the country.
Officially launching the party in Harare yesterday, Mbira said his outfit would work to “pull down Gushungo’s wall”.
He said Zanu PF and current opposition parties had failed Zimbabwe and the new political party would provide the solution to the country’s problems.
“Effectively our country has no leader; we have an imploding ruling party, a clueless government and a collapsed opposition,” Mbira said.
“Having observed, followed and commented on our politics, we believe the time has finally come to take a lead in the writing of a new narrative for our potentially great nation. It is now time for a new brand of politics; the politics of values, sacrifice and service.”
Mbira pledged to regularise farm ownership that has remained chaotic 15 years after the commencement of the land reform programme.
He accused Zanu PF of “pretending” to have given people land which he said was useless without title deeds.
“It’s just a 30-day lease that they have given you. They can take it at any time should you disagree with them, but they go harping around the country that they have given people land,” he said.
“If you have given someone, why do you take it should the friendship collapse?”
Mbira said Zimbabwe was fatally broken and nothing short of a paradigm shift would save the country.
“The starting point is agreeing as a nation that the status quo is no longer sustainable,” he said.
“In that regard, Zanu PF must not only take the blame, but do the honourable thing and step aside.”
Mbira said they would not be participating in the forthcoming by-elections, but wait for real elections after poll reforms.
He said the forthcoming by-elections were a platform of managing Zanu PF’s succession wars.
He said Mugabe feared security for his dictatorship.
Mbira is an information technology expert who had been working in Australia in the past decade.
A former liberation fighter, just like Paradza, he said he had been inspired to fight to keep the legacy of those who suffered to bring independence to the country, which was yet to be realised.
He said his party would be open to a coalition of opposition forces, but emphasised there should be a criterion of selecting public figures, in order to fight corruption.
Paradza fled the country fearing of his life in 2006, after being subjected to a trial criticised internationally as being trumped up to remove him from office.