Zimbabwe’s pro-democracy groups have started to fracture, with anti-President Robert Mugabe civic groups crossing swords with an opposition political party over last week’s failed anti-bond notes demonstration.
In a development that bodes ill for the crunch 2018 elections, activist and Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance (Zwipa) leader Linda Masarira yesterday launched a scathing attack on former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her newly-formed opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party leadership, accusing them of being the authors of a myriad of political and economic challenges engulfing the country.
The attack follows allegations levelled by ZPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire that the demonstration dubbed #Munhuwesemuroad failed to take off due to disagreements in the citizens’ movements over the distribution of an alleged $100 000 donation from sponsors.
But in a hard-hitting statement, Masarira, who along with Patson Dzamara and Sten Zvorwadza of the Zimbabwe National Vendors Union are alleged to have benefited from the sponsorship, denied there were funds released towards funding the demonstration.
She accused ZPF of letting them down when they allegedly refused to take part in the demonstration. She further alleged ZPF had contributed to the country’s current problems from the time they were still in government.
So indeed, we are not surprised when ZPF president Mujuru said at an engagement meeting before the demonstration that her party does not participate in anti-corruption and anti-bond note protests. She knew that she and hordes of her fellow ZPF officials were equally causative of the economic mess we are in,” Masarira said.
“Thus, it is indeed folly for Mawarire to try and justify their non-participation using skunk-foul lies and malicious machinations of looted monies . . . Citizens of Zimbabwe are able to tell Mawarire that his paymasters looted billions of dollars, killed people and can name the victims unlike him who makes unsubstantiated claims.”
As the momentum for the 2018 poll builds, there are considerable uncertainties over the impact the dispute would have on ZPF’s performance.
She further alleged that the majority of ZPF senior officials were involved in stealing State funds and gross human rights abuses.
Commenting on the allegations, Mawarire argued that as public figures, the organisers of the flopped demonstration were not immune to public scrutiny.
“As a public figure, Masarira has to live with the vagaries of scrutiny, calls for transparency and accountability demanded by her peers both in Tajamuka and Zwipa. She has to respond, without necessarily counter-accusing to the allegations of sleaze and also give us reasons why Tajamuka, an organisation she is part of, pulled out of the demonstrations amid allegations of financial misappropriation, a pervasive mercenary attitude and the uncanny tendency by the organisers to stick to untenable timelines dictated by financiers,” Mawarire said