The Eunice Sandi Moyo-led National Patriotic Front yesterday dispelled claims by a rival faction of NPF led by retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri that the party has been disbanded because it had outlived its purpose.
Jealousy Mawarire, the national spokesperson of the Sandi-Moyo faction, said Mutinhiri is neither the president nor the spokesperson of the party and therefore has no powers nor jurisdiction to convene meetings, pass resolutions or speak on behalf of the party.
This comes after Mutinhiri said on Thursday the founders, leaders and supporters of the NPF had disbanded with immediate effect from September 19.
He said the main reason for disbanding the party is that “NPF has outlived its purpose.”
Mutinhiri said the NPF was formed as a response to the events and circumstances of November 2017 that led to the removal of the previous government of Zimbabwe and “in our opinion we perceived it to be a threat to national security and stability.”
He said they had re-considered their position and decided to re-join the ruling party in its drive to rebuild Zimbabwe.
“However, after careful considerations and deliberations our party came to the conclusion that the November 2017 events were in the best interest of Zimbabwe as a nation. To that end, the existence of the NPF is no longer necessary.
“As such, we deem it expedient and appropriate to disband NPF and also to join and support the Zanu-PF party and government in its endeavour to build a better Zimbabwe for all unity and loving and progressive Zimbabwe,” he added.
Mawarire said the NPF national founding executive committee (NFEC), on June 7 met in Harare and resolved to recall Mutinhiri from his position as interim president of the party and that decision was communicated at a press conference attended by the party chairperson-cum-acting president Sandi Moyo, secretary-general, Shadreck Mashayamombe, national political commissar Jeppy Jaboon, Mawarire and seven provincial chairpersons among other senior members of the party.
“On 13 June 2018, the party formally communicated its position to recall Mr Mutinhiri in a letter copied to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana,” Mawarire said.
“The reasons for (Mr) Mutinhiri’s recall are public although it is trite to mention here that the party discovered his serious incompetence and flippant approach to duty emanating from the clandestine work he was doing for the junta government which was meant to foil the growth of NPF as an opposition party.”
Mutinhiri resigned from Zanu-PF citing his unhappiness in the manner Robert Mugabe was deposed last year in a military operation that saw Mnangagwa emerge as successor to the 94-year-old former strongman.
The NPF has since split, with former Bulawayo provincial minister Sandi Moyo, who was the national chairperson of the NPF, emerging as the new acting president after firing Mutinhiri whom she accused of blocking an opposition grand coalition with Nelson Chamisa.
Mutinhiri was adamant that he was unprepared to sacrifice his supporters’ aspirations on the altar of “unknown donors whose agenda we do not know”.
Mawarire said: “Today, we are not surprised that he, after meeting Zanu-PF president, …Mnangagwa, purports to be disbanding a party that had already recalled him.
“The NPF is run by a 38-member NFEC and decisions pertaining to any trajectory the party is taking are made by this constitutional body. No individual, whether he has met with Mnangagwa, is drunk or totally clueless about how political parties operate, cannot make unilateral decisions on behalf of a people’s movement.
“We are a party represented in Parliament and we have structures throughout the country hence no individual, even in a drunken stupor, can claim to make decisions without the express authority of the NFEC.
“We wish, therefore, to inform our supporters, key stakeholders, debtors and creditors that the party dismisses, with contempt, the claims by Mutinhiri that he has disbanded its structures.”
“We take his rumblings as coming from a clueless individual induced to make such claims by a few pieces of silver he was promised after his meeting with the Zanu-PF president last week.”
This comes as Zanu-PF has extended an olive branch to former party cadres who were sacked between 2014 and last year.
Zanu-PF functionaries — acting on instructions from Mnangagwa — have been in touch with some of the expelled members in a bid to strengthen the party, ease political tensions and get everyone behind efforts to revive the country’s economy.
Among those invited back into the party are Mutinhiri, Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Ray Kaukonde, Joice Mujuru and Dzikamai Mavhaire.
Mawarire said they are currently “preparing for our inaugural elective convention and announcements on this important event will be made shortly.”
“We urge our supporters to dismiss Mutinhiri and his junta shenanigans. We have huge tasks ahead. Iwe neni tine basa, mkhulu lo msebenzi,” he said.