By Robert Tapfumaneyi
FUGITIVE former Cabinet Minister Walter Mzembi has been appointed interim president of a new political formation, the People’s Party.
Mzembi is deputised by former Higher Education Deputy Minister Godfrey Gandawa.
Gandawa is also on the run after skipping the country in 2018 facing fraud charges when he was deputy minister.
United Kingdom-based Lloyd Msipa is the new party’s secretary general.
“The party has invited Dr Walter Mzembi the former Foreign Affairs Minister and long serving Tourism Minister as Interim President,” Msipa wrote in a statement, adding, “The rest of the leadership will be availed upon request.”
Mzembi and Gandawa were part of Zanu PF’s G40 faction, a grouping of senior Zanu PF and government officials who were removed from office following an army-led coup that dislodged long serving President Robert Mugabe November 2017.
“We are a political party that believes Zimbabwe belongs to all who live in it. The mission of the People’s Party is to establish for the first time in our history, a fair and just society which will enable the people of Zimbabwe to unleash their talents and ingenuity so that their potential can be fully realised,” Msipa wrote in an email to the Westminster Foundation Sunday night.
The Westminster Foundation is a UK-based philanthropic organisation.
In the email, Msipa also asks the foundation to assist the people of Zimbabwe to “liberate themselves”.
“We further believe that we work together with you in assisting the people of Zimbabwe to liberate themselves, stop human rights abuses, eradicate poverty and enhance economic emancipation.
“We trust this is in order and hope to engage with you shortly to spell out our way forward.”
As a Cabinet Minister, Mzembi served in the Ministry of Tourism and had a short stint as a Foreign Affairs Minister before his ouster in November 2017.
He skipped the country while on bail facing fraud charges during his time as head of the Tourism Ministry.
Gandawa is also facing charges of abusing Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund’s (ZIMDEF) money.
According to the email, the two politicians are holed up in South Africa.
They join their former G40 counterpart and ex-Local Government Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere in establishing political movements with plans to contest Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections.
Kasukuwere, who is also based in South Africa, is linked to the #tysonwabantu movement.