The Joice Mujuru-led Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) has rattled Zanu PF as it penetrates deep into the ruling party’s strongholds, hardly a month after it was launched, NewsDay has learnt.
By Jairos Saunyama/Everson Mushava
ZimPF today holds a public meeting at Sadza growth point in Chikomba District, an area perceived to be a Zanu PF stronghold in Mashonaland East Province.
The Chikomba gathering that has since been cleared by the police comes after a well-attended public meeting in Marondera last week that left President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF in panic mode.
Mashonaland East is reportedly a Mujuru stronghold and judging by last week’s attendance, the former Vice-President commands a huge following in the province.
ZimPF official Setfree Mafukidze yesterday confirmed today’s gathering, saying the opposition party was not bothered by hooligans who were trying to disturb the event.
“For now, we are just holding public meetings like what we did in Marondera. We have to do so in all the 23 constituencies in the province before we organise a star rally. We are now targeting constituencies in the rural areas,” Mafukidze said.
“Chikomba district is no longer a stronghold for any political party, because most former Zanu PF and MDC members are already on board. There is nothing much to talk in terms of violence, we are not threatened in any sense. We do our meetings lawfully and will not be deterred by people who do not understand how the law works.”
He added: “If the police gave us the clearance, then we have every reason to hold our meetings uninterrupted. This is just a public meeting, not a rally, but everyone is free to attend.”
The gathering is expected to be graced by ZimPF interim provincial leaders who include war veteran Wilfred Marimo, lawyer Petronella Musarurwa, Charity Chakanyuka, Boniface Mutize and Taurayi Pasirayi, among others.
In Harare, ZimPF said they had beefed up security for their Warren Park rally scheduled for tomorrow to avoid a repeat of the violence that rocked the Glen View event last weekend.
ZimPF Harare provincial secretary for information Jealousy Mawarire told NewsDay yesterday: “We have tightened our security. Both our visible and undercover security details will be more vigilant and on the lookout for mischief makers.
“They will assist the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers in providing security as they have always done at our last rallies in Mabvuku and Glen View.”
Last week, suspected Zanu PF youths stormed ZimPF’s Glen View rally and pelted hundreds of supporters with stones. A number of them were injured while several vehicles were damaged, forcing the police to arrest several suspected Zanu PF supporters.
“We have discussed with the police the security measures we are putting in place including the choice of our venue and it’s suitability in view of the likely disruptive reactions of the opposition Zanu PF, which is definitely kicking its last before it finally rests in the natural repose of imminent electoral defeat come 2018,” Mawarire said.
“We, therefore, urge our supporters to come out in numbers and meet with our interim provincial leadership. Our provincial co-ordinator, Munyaradzi Banda, will take the opportunity to explain our party programmes going forward. We are also going to set the record straight on the lies that Zanu PF is propagating and broadcasting against Mujuru.”