HARARE – Former vice president Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP) is now operating from her Chisipite home after being kicked out of its Avondale offices following the latest fallout within the party.
The NPP used to operate from an office in Avondale but it has now been rendered homeless in the wake of an acrimonious fallout with the owner of the property, Wilbert Mubaiwa, who until yesterday was the party’s secretary-general.
Mubaiwa who broke ranks with Mujuru on Thursday night had a torrid time in addressing his resignation letter as he did not know where the party’s offices were now located.
“I wanted to write my resignation letter but I did not know where to address it to after they vacated my offices two months ago,” he told the Daily News.
The party, which has been hit by a exodus of members, is now using number 72 Lunar Road, Borrowdale as its official address.
Ironically, the address is that of the late General Solomon Mujuru’s 100 hectares of prime land inherited by his wife, Joice.
“It’s her (Mujuru)’s business premises with seminar holding facilities,” NPP secretary-general, Gift Nyandoro told the Daily News yesterday.
“For the record, the party has got leadership that has capacity financially. The only difference is that we are not the type of leadership that blows hot and cold.”
One of the party’s main funders, Mubaiwa severed ties with Mujuru alleging that her party had become shipwrecked by undemocratic practices, candidate imposition, political bullying and dictatorship tendencies.
He was supposed to appear before the party’s national disciplinary committee on Thursday to answer what he described as “malicious and meaningless allegations.”
Mubaiwa had been advised to appear before the disciplinary hearing on allegations of undermining Mujuru and speaking ill of her.
But before the hearing could be convened, he decided to resign.
“…I am with immediate effect withdrawing my membership of the NPP on the grounds of your leadership’s incompatibility with democracy, constitutionalism, rule of law, accountability, transparency and tolerance as stated elsewhere in this letter,” Mubaiwa said in a resignation letter.
“The undemocratic practices of candidate imposition, unilateralism, clique practice, cronyism, exclusion, political bullying, harassment and molestation and generally putting personal relationships ahead of the party has been the hallmark of the NPP management, administration, decision and action taking culture.
“This goes against democratic principles and norms that ought to underpin the NPP constitution and therefore against my conscience as a person.
“It is my nature not to accept any unethical, immoral practices and values and will never be coerced to directly or indirectly (silence) endorse such practices at any price. I respect authority but will never be intimidated by it.”
Mubaiwa said the decision to expel the Mutasa group (Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo), was meant to pave way for the installation of “JS Mvundura, Sipepa Nkomo and Nyandoro among others.”
Nyandoro, however, said the party was yet to receive Mubaiwa’s resignation.
“As far as we are concerned, we are not in a position to comment on things on social media. My office has not been served with a resignation pertaining to Mr Mubaiwa and I am not aware if it’s true or not that he has resigned,” said Nyandoro.
“I am advised that his disciplinary hearing started yesterday (Thursday) the 2nd of November which he attended and I am equally advised that at his request it was postponed to 22 November.”
At the beginning of September, the NPP sent an SOS seeking $4, 8 million in donations to fund its campaign for the forthcoming 2018 elections.
The SOS was sent during the party’s national executive council meeting in Harare, with its national chairperson Dzikamai Mavhaire telling the Daily News that they needed financial capacity to withstand the well-oiled Zanu PF machinery in the approaching 2018 polls.
“The parties that receive money through the PPF Act are Zanu PF and the MDC. We finance ourselves. So we must raise our own funds. At the moment we have a target to use that money for our campaigns,” he said.
“Every political party is self-financed. Some of us came from National Democratic Party and then from Zapu. We used to self-finance our activities,” said Mavhaire, a former Zanu PF politburo member.
Mavhaire — a former Energy minister in President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet — said he was confident the NPP will secure the $4, 8 million from its membership.
“That’s the minimum…we know our people, the population that we have and the responses that we are getting, we will get there,” he said.
Earlier on, Mavhaire had indicated that many NPP members dumped the party owing to its financial position, saying “when we formed this party people thought that they will take the top posts, some thought they would make a lot of money but when they saw that there was none of that, they left”.
This came as opposition parties have hit hard times, with the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC recently admitting it was going through financial difficulties and desperately awaiting a $2 million-plus payment through the Political Parties Finance (PPF) Act.
Provisions of the PPF Act prescribe that political parties that secure at least five percent of the total votes cast are entitled to funding from Treasury.
Given recent election results, only Zanu PF and the MDC qualify for the funding.
Treasury has, however, been unable to release the funding because of poor revenue inflows that have resulted in government staggering salary payments for civil servants.
In MDC’s case, the party sent an SOS to members of the public and its traditional donors to lend a helping hand.
The party’s spokesperson, Obert Gutu, confirmed to the Daily News that they had fallen on hard times.
Gutu said Treasury had been extremely uncooperative when it came to disbursing money owed to the MDC, suggesting that the ruling party is withholding payments to cripple their rivals.
Recently, the Deputy Sherriff raided MDC’s Harvest House headquarters and attached an assortment of furniture over a $108 000 debt owed to ex-workers.
The party is also struggling to pay its workers, including complying with statutory obligations such as payments to the National Social Security Authority. – Daily News