The Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party has described Jim Kunaka as an escapee from rehabilitation who has a democratic and constitutional right to cut short the counselling programmes he was going through in the party and go back to his old ways, a top official in former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s party has said.Commenting on Kunaka’s highly publicised return to Zanu-PF, Spokesperson for Zim PF, Jealousy Mawarire, said “The fact of the matter is that Mr Jim Kunaka was undergoing rehabilitation and if he has returned to Zanu-PF it means he is now a rehab escapee.”
Mawarire said that the process of rehabilitating ex-Zanu-PF youths who were used by the party to perpetrate violence was a voluntary programme that Zim PF has put in place to help both victims of political violence and the perpetrators that they find ways of being reintegrated into the society.“Our rehabilitation programmes are voluntary. It is therefore unconstitutional and also undemocratic for us to arrest Kunaka and force him to continue with the rehabilitation programme we had designed for him.
“It is quite clear to us that the better person, the non-violent character that we wanted to inculcate in him has no place and value in the cult that he is returning to.“We will continue to raise our heads high for the efforts that we made in attempting to exorcise the Zanu-PF demons that were haunting him but we are cognisant that it is not every battle that you can win and that not every deliverance session is successful especially when the one seeking deliverance is still in love with his demons,” Mawarire said adding that the rehabilitation programme was a brain child of the Zim PF president.
“Our President is on record saying that Zimbabwe People First has a department, manned by experienced clergymen, which provides counselling services to both victims of political violence and its perpetrators so that they can be reintegrated back into the society and, perhaps, mainstream politics,” he said also explaining that Kunaka’s return to Zanu-PF does not only show that Zim PF had failed to rehabilitate him but that the party had strong systems against infiltration.
“The other fact that has escaped a lot of people is that the return of people like Kunaka to Zanu-PF is a result of their frustration with the strict security measures we have put around the decision-making organs of the party which have made it difficult for spies and Zanu-PF informers to gain entry into those organs that run the day-to-day activities of the party.
“The noise they are now making and the purported return to Zanu-PF is a result of the frustration they now have as a result of their failure to infiltrate the decision making organs of the party.“When we hear them cry loud as Kunaka is doing, we naturally become happy as it is an endorsement of the effectiveness of our security and intelligence systems in the party”, Mawarire said.
Mawarire also said that allegations by Kunaka that there is nothing happening in Zim PF are an indication that he was far away from the decision making process in the party.“There are strategic decisions and programmes taken by the party leadership that, for security reasons, cannot be communicated to every party member, let alone those undergoing rehabilitation but that does not mean there is nothing happening in the party.
“ If there is nothing happening in Zim PF as Kunaka is quoted as saying, there is certainly one thing that he should acknowledge and it is that we have set up a diligent and effective security system that does not just allow spies easy access to those organs of the party responsible for our strategic planning” said Mawarire.
Mujuru, in February this year, addressing Zim PF Matabeleland South provicnial leadership ,explained that because her party was an inclusive entity, it was attracting both victims and perpetrators of political violence hence her attempts to ensure that the party has structures to rehabilitate those that have been used as merchants of violence in the past.
“We have our children, the youths who have been used by us politicians to perpetrate violence. In PF we are saying let’s talk about issues that trouble us. Let’s talk about what happened in peace. Face the family that you wronged with a me diator. Initiate the process of national healing”, she told the delegates.The Zim PF leader also revealed then, that her party was working with church leaders to help those youths that have no courage to face families that they wronged in order that they receive counselling so that they can be reintegrated into mainstream political activities without their past violent disposition.
“We have identified church elders and said we have our children who were abused in the past. They were sent to commit atrocities but have now come to us crying and begging for assistance. Do we send them away?
“No. We said, church leaders, help us with spiritual deliverance and counselling. The church people agreed but requested that I be present during these counselling sessions. I have agreed and I will make sure these children receive help that is necessary to make them better people,” she revealed adding that community leaders where these children live can also play a pivotal role in their rehabilitation.