By Bulawayo Correspondent
POLITICAL parties and pressure groups have angrily reacted to Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu’s declaration that the ruling party will never relinquish power and plans to rule for a very long time.
Mpofu who is known for making controversial and disparaging political comments said this at a send-off ceremony for 36 Zanu PF officials who left to join the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre in Tanzania Monday.
“We are going to be in power for a very long time. We are not going to surrender power. We will always be the governing party,” Mpofu said.
His comments has however infuriated a lot of people including opposition parties who feel Mpofu’s comments are meant to threaten the citizens and discourage them from registering to vote.
Zapu spokesperson Msongelwa Ndlovu described Mpofu’s utterances as a “sign of panic” ahead of the 2023 elections.
“They are reading the political mood of Zimbabweans correctly. The recent by-elections served them a clear and loud notice. This is a feeble attempt to discourage Zimbabweans from registering to vote and from voting 2023,” said Ndlovu.
The Zapu spokesperson said despite Mpofu’s statement Zimbabweans should continue registering and vote Zanu PF out of power in 2023.
“Their claim to leadership entitlement because of liberating the country is as sterile as it is nonsensical. Zapu fought to liberate Zimbabwe and that war effort was to, among other things, afford Zimbabweans a right to one man one vote and that power is located on the majority not one political party,” he added.
Spokesperson of the Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T Ntando Ndlovu also described Mpofu’s comments as unfortunate.
“The comments by Mpofu are very unfortunate not surprising especially coming from Zanu PF which has never adhered to principles of good governance and democracy in its entire existence.
“They further show that the regime is in a panic mode following the recent by elections where the newly formed opposition CCC managed to perform beyond expectations which is a sure indicator that the end is nigh for the current government.
“The people’s resolve will not be broken by these shameless comments from a dying horse. In fact we are yet to see more of these shameless and reckless comments as we head to next year ‘s harmonised elections where CCC is poised to register an overwhelming victory,” said Ndlovu.
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) president Mqondisi Moyo said he is not surprised by Mpofu’s statement.
“These kind of statements are common among Zanu PF officials because they have stayed in power for far too long. They now believe they own the country and the people.
“Though the statement is not true , Zanu PF cannot win a free and fair election,” said Moyo.
He accused the former cabinet minister of being a thief.
“It is common knowledge that Obert is a thief who only survives on patronising the powers that be. He will say anything and everything to please them.”
Ibhetshu LikaZulu director Mbuso Fuzwayo also urged Zimbabweans to go and vote for candidates of their choice despite the threats.
“What Mpofu is saying confirms that Zimbabwe is military dictatorship because Zanu PF has no capacity to stop the change of political leadership. It is only the military fronting civilians under the guise of a non- existent party Zanu PF,” said Fuzwayo.
“I hope citizens can in mass go and vote for candidates of their choice.”
In 2020 Mpofu was also in the eye of a storm when he claimed that anti-Gukurahundi activists were not qualified to speak about the atrocities because they have “little or no knowledge of what transpired on the ground.”
Officially launching his book, “On the Shoulders of The Struggle Memoirs of a Political Insider,” in Harare, Mpofu fired a salvo at the anti-Gukurahundi campaigners, implying the activists were less affected by the State sponsored 1980s atrocities which left scores of civilians in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces killed.