Zimbabwe People First is already divided, with younger party officials working to block those aged 70-years-old and above from holding office.
Dr Joice Mujuru, expelled from Zanu-PF and Government in 2014, launched the party in Harare last Tuesday.
Already, the likes of ex-Cabinet ministers Mr Rugare Gumbo (76) and Mr Didymus Mutasa (81) have been relegated to an advisory pool of “elders” without voting powers.
And steps are being taken to place a 70-year age limit in the party constitution, according to insiders.
Before last week’s Press conference, Mr Gumbo was the group’s de facto spokesperson. That post has now been officially given to ex-journalist Mr Methuseli Moyo.
The national management committee comprises Dr Mujuru (president), Mr Mutasa (founding elder/advisor), Mr Gumbo (founding elder/advisor), Mr Sylvester Nguni and Cougan Matanhire (office of the president/secretariat), Mr Dzikamai Mavhaire (mobilisation), Mr David Butau (research and strategy) and Mr John Mvundura (external relations), Mr Moyo (information), Mr Gift Nyandoro (legal), Mr Christopher Ndiweni (provincial security).
Article 30 of ZPF’s draft constitution reads, “There shall be an Elders’ Advisory Council of the party, which shall be an affiliate of the party and shall be constituted of not less than two (2) and not more than eleven (11) members who are appointed by the president.
“The Elders’ Advisory Council shall not have any right to vote on any matter affecting the party and may only act in an advisory role.”
This means Messrs Mutasa and Gumbo will effectively be sidelined from decision making should the draft be adopted.
Insiders told The Sunday Mail Dr Mujuru (60) would be cast aside if she failed to win the 2018 State Presidential election.
“Things are just in disarray and already people have started fighting because the younger generation is trying to block the old guard from getting top positions in the party,” said a source.
Another said younger members felt they had to act now to cement their positions lest they remain under the shadow of the expelled Zanu-PF officials.
Others lamented glaring contradictions in the party’s thrust and constitution.
For instance, Article 9 of the draft states that ZPF believes in term limits for elected officials in the party, State, Parliament and other offices.
But there will be no term limit for the party leader.
Power has been concentrated in Dr Mujuru’s office as she will cast the deciding vote at national executive and national standing committee meetings as well as direct departmental operations.
She will also be one of the signatories to the party’s bank account, according to Article 37 of the draft.
Mr Gumbo told The Sunday Mail, “The president’s term is supposed to be five years, but if it’s not there (in the draft constitution) it means that there was a misprint. And we are yet to decide on when we will hold our inaugural congress.”
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