By Mbekezeli Ncube
HEALTH complications and age have forced Darrel Collet (73), founding president of newly formed opposition, The Patriotic Front (TPF), to step down from the party job.
The former Zimbabwe commercial farmer quit this December, some six months after assuming the post June this year.
He had set his sights towards challenging President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the 2023 presidential election.
Announcing his resignation in a statement, Collet said “this decision has been made after a great deal of consideration”.
“The main reason being my age and the several medical problems that come with old age and which may take some time to sort out.
“TPF is born of a great vision and needs somebody with the energy of youth to lead it.”
Party secretary for information and publicity, Mxolisi Ncube confirmed the development, adding that TPF was set to select its leader soon.
In the interim, party vice presidents Anele Ndlovu and Patrick Matsinanhise will lead the opposition outfit until the party’s congress in May next year.
Ncube said the Harare based politician had plans to resign a few months ago but chose to eventually submit his resignation letter which the National Executive Committee (NEC) has accepted.
“The party would like to inform Zimbabweans that Mr. Darrel Collet has resigned from his position as the party’s interim President, mainly due to ill health.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce his resignation; he is a great leader, a servant of the people who sacrificed a lot to lead this party at its foundational phase and his name will remain etched in TPF hearts,” said Ncube.
However, Collet remains a member of the party and he is ready to be given any duty in the NEC should health allow.
Ncube added, “TPF will be able to carry on and will also find and establish a new leadership. Our vision and mission towards building and better and beautiful Zimbabwe do not change. We wish out founding President all the best and speedy recovery.”