HARARE – Opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) has split again after party elders withdrew their support from interim president Agrippa Mutambara.
This comes after former Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti jumped ship from the Mutambara-led party to join hands with Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo.
The group has issued a no-confidence vote on Mutambara, saying he was an ordinary card carrying member.
Mutambara, however, rubbished “the demotion” yesterday.
The retired brigadier general said he remained the ZPF interim president.
He claimed party structures had on Tuesday suspended Bhasikiti.
“It really means nothing to me or our party,” Mutambara said.
“We actually had a meeting where the steering committee — a body put in place to guide the party until we reach congress — where the issue of Bhasikiti was discussed.
“Delegates were in agreement that Bhasikiti should be suspended from the post of secretary general on various allegations. We remain ZPF and we continue to operate from the offices of ZPF. As far as we are concerned, we are carrying out an investigation on Bhasikiti.”
On the other hand, Bhasikiti said in a letter to Mutambara: “As one of the founding leaders of ZPF, I hereby inform you that we have withdrawn our support to your position as interim president with immediate effect.
“You unilaterally and without consultations made moves to rush the party congress which you want held on October 28, 2017. This is despite the fact that there are no structures at ward, constituency or provincial (level).”
Bhasikiti also accused Mutambara of unlawfully changing the ZPF constitution to accommodate two vice presidents in a bid incorporate his relative Munacho Mutezo
“While the original and standing constitution has a provision for only one vice president, you unprocedurally caused it to be changed to accommodate two vice presidents for the simple reason that you want to incorporate your relative …Mutezo who is of the Moyo, Chirandu totem as yourself, who failed to raise even a cent for the party as expected of a party treasurer.”
Mutambara was also accused of emblazoning his face on party regalia.
“While we remain loyal to an opposition coalition in the form of the Kenyan Rainbow mode, you allowed the coalition to be branded MDC Alliance which effectively meant that ZPF was swallowed by another party.”
Bhasikiti added that while Mutambara had not been convicted of rape, he was still to clear his name as he had promised.
Judith Todd, whose father Sir Garfield Todd was Rhodesia’s last liberal leader, wrote in her memoir, Through the Darkness: A life in Zimbabwe, that Mutambara raped her at a house at the Chikurubi prison complex after publicly complaining that the North Korean-trained 5 Brigade was massacring civilians in a campaign of atrocities in Matabeleland in the 80s.
“Upon taking the role of interim president, you categorically stated that you will have your The Rebel In Me book launch in which you share the platform with Judith … in order to clear your name of rape allegations before the ZPF congress. We are worried that this has not happened. This failure is an albatross on the ZPF neck because the general perception now is that our party is being led by rapists.”
Mutambara did not take the rape allegations lightly.
“I have not been accused of rape. There is nothing before the courts. So where do I clear the allegations. If it’s Bhasikiti accusing me of that act, then he should go and report and I clear my name,” he said.