NATIONAL People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru’s political star continues to fall with her entire Masvingo provincial executive resigning en-masse last week, citing several leadership irregularities, amid fears the opposition party could collapse ahead of next year’s elections.
The party’s provincial leaders confirmed the development in a letter signed by provincial chair, Oliver Chirume, dated December 7 and addressed to Mujuru.
This came at a time NPP youths have scaled up pressure for the expulsion of Mujuru’s deputy, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and secretary-general Gift Nyandoro, whom they accuse of stifling democracy and plotting to destroy the party from within.
“We wish NPP a steady growth, asserting itself for the inherent democratisation of our society, fostering freedom of speech, opinion, reaction, upholding constitutionalism and respect for families and diversity, eradicating repressive impulses and unfounded egos, intimidation and re-igniting tolerance, inclusivity, bottom up and guided top-bottom consultative approach to decision making,” part of the resignation letter co-signed by Chirume and 15 other members, read.
Some of the disgruntled members indicated that they were planning to join MDC-T and Zanu PF after being short-changed by Mujuru’s band of leaders.
NPP national youth leader Lloyd Masiya, who was “fired” last week alongside several other national leaders, yesterday said he had mobilised party structures to have Nkomo and Nyandoro stripped of their posts.
“Several provinces have since met over our so-called expulsion last week. It was agreed that some of the accusations are meant to derail the party from winning any seat in the coming elections,” Masiya said.
“The provinces and wings of the party are saying let’s stand up and defend NPP, otherwise it will die. We have made that call that Nkomo and the rest of the leadership around the president like secretary-general (Nyandoro) must step down for progress of the party. We are not going anywhere and it is them that must leave. It’s better for them to leave with honour now,” he said.
But defiant Nkomo yesterday laughed off the allegations levelled against him, saying the decision to fire “rogue executive members” was done collectively.
“Whatever they are saying that I must leave, I don’t know why I should and I am not leaving,” he said. “Whatever the decisions which were taken they were collective. If they want elected people to leave their positions they must write to the secretary-general and not go to the newspapers.”
Nyandoro described the plan to mobilise for his recall as bar talk.
“I am not aware of the said sharp differences you are referring to neither am I also aware of the said party officials lobbying for my ejection from the party. Our party leadership works as a compatible unit that has a distinct line of command.
The leadership believes in collective responsibility,” he said.