AXED Vice President Joice Mujuru has finally registered her People First party with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), ending months of speculation about her real political plans.
Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed the fledgling party was registered Friday as one of the parties competing for political space in the country.
“We have indeed registered our party. We did this on Friday,” Gumbo said in an interview with RadioVOP.
It is not a strict requirement for parties to register with any authority in the country although parties register with the ZEC to allow formal communication with the country’s electoral management authority.
Gumbo added: “We just did it because we wanted to protect ourselves remember we are dealing with a party and government which is unpredictable.”
ZEC is used to sending correspondence to parties in its database and this facilitates the organising of meetings between ZEC and political parties.
Mujuru, who is former Zanu PF second in command, was expelled from the ruling party together with several party bigwigs in the past year for allegedly plotting to dethrone President Robert Mugabe.
She denies the charges which have never been tested in a court of law while no internal disciplinary processes were also instituted to allow her to be heard.
Except for Gumbo, once Zanu PF spokesperson, Didymus Mutasa (former Zanu PF secretary for administration), Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (former Masvingo provincial affairs minister) and former war veterans chairman Jabulani Sibanda, the other axed Zanu PF bigwigs have not yet come out in the open on whether they would want to form part of Mujuru’s party.
The formal entry of People First into the country’s political radar sees Mujuru becoming one of the few opposition parties in the country to be led by a woman.
Her entry into the arena has brought panic among the country’s major opposition parties and will likely add impetus to current plans by opposition parties to form a grand coalition to challenge President Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF’s 36 year old stranglehold on power.
Although some 60 political parties are said to be registered with ZEC, the country is thought to be having between 80 and 100 political parties although some become active during election time.