|United People's Party|
'The United People's Party (UPP) was a political party in Zimbabwe. It was formed in 2006 by United Democratic Alliance president Daniel Shumba. The Party candidates ran for the first time in the by-elections of Chiredzi South and Zaka East in February and March 2007, respectively. In the 2008 parliamentary election, the party put forward seventy-nine candidates for the House of Assembly and twenty-seven for the Senate in eight of Zimbabwe's ten provinces.
Failure to Contest
Dr Daniel Shumba was denied a chance to run in the 2008 presidential election for allegedly arriving late to the nomination court. He later won his court application, but the judgment was issued well after the run-off elections. feared that had the UPP got funding, it would have redefined Zimbabwe's political landscape. The UPP like the MDC was denied access to the media
The UPP political party was not included in the Government of National Unity and Shumba wrote an article:
ZIMBABWEANS must try hard to be optimistic and co-operate with all progressive policies of this government, for the sake of our country, and work hard to minimize any further collateral damage. Maybe this union will last.
However, let us wish this dispensation well. Let us hope that reason, justice, peace, and love can be the mainstay of our nationhood. Yet in our optimism, let us not be oblivious of the truth. It is this truth that will inform us of the evils we are confronted with, and how to scale the said challenges. We now must move forward and do all that we can to peacefully shape our future. To do so, we need to know what we really want, how to get it and begin to move decisively towards the attainment of our objective; democracy. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a semblance of a new dawn. The media is hyping it up, in a very partisan fashion, as it did in the period leading to the failed elections and now, this power-sharing deal. Everybody is quiet or is neglecting the truth of the ensuing bleak future, in the absence of true democracy. Let us not seek to mislead our nation about the reality and the medium to long-term consequences of our situation. The management and conduct of the disputed and bloody 2008 elections exposed yet another dark side of our political history. Murders, assaults, corruption, partisanship, and absence of the rule of law, were manifested at an unprecedented level. Has this ended? Is ZANU-PF exercising the ‘possession is 90 percent of the law,’ expression? Which law? Why did the MDC capitulate when they seemed to have ZANU-PF on the back foot? Was it for expediency, democracy or power? We are all curiously watching. Time will tell. ZANU-PF realized that it could manipulate and distract the MDC from the real issues and point it to the power-sharing agenda. The stage was then set for cosmetic changes and a false partnership, giving ZANU-PF a new lease of power. In the long term, the MDC will be weakened, thus will always be a junior partner, marginalized and of no real effect to the future of the country. Others more astute have fallen before them. The United People’s Party (UPP) has been advocating for a government of national unity (GNU). This would have included other political parties, civic society, the church, women groups, youth groups, and business representatives. We objected and continue to object to an exclusive ZANU-PF and MDC deal, but advocate for an inclusive national position, collectively driven to meet specific milestones that lead to true democratic elections. The current GNU is only about power-sharing, not inclusive and has no democratic mandate. It is in fact, an open-ended Zanu-PF agenda, without any measurable democratic deliverables. The constitutional court judgment of August 2008 and the pending SADC Tribunal case on elections and GNU respectively, clearly show the extent of flaws in the whole GNU process. This is one of the issues that caused the negotiated agreement to be wrong-footed and focus on power-sharing, instead of the democratization process. True power-sharing would have occurred as a consequence of an inclusive democratization process, and not vice versa. Zimbabwe cannot settle for early, but short-lived dividends. It must be noted that, any elections under the current constitution or electoral laws, cannot be democratic, free or fair. The GNU should be a temporary or bridging authority, whose main focus should be to usher in a new, popular, people-driven constitution – not some Kariba document agreed upon by ZANU-PF and MDC. A popular constitution would address the issues of the abuse of power, elections, rule of law, corruption and many other issues of public interest. The nation has been short-changed and betrayed. Zimbabwe has been greatly compromised and let down by SADC. A new popular constitution would underwrite and underpin our freedoms, rule of law and the basis upon which our economy can be turned around. Politics of patronage have always been ZANU-PF’s mainstay. We must refuse to be part of it. The international community has not been fooled; neither should Zimbabweans be sweet talked while being raped. Let us be guarded, the false perception we find our country in is unsustainable without internal growth, which must be triggered by investor confidence and international financial and technical support. The authoritarian nature of the ZANU-PF government is still at play. Extralegal and extrajudicial activities, disrespect of the rule of law, expropriation of property, police arrests (investigate later), and other human rights abuses still subsist. Are we really free or betrayed? These activities do not instill confidence but only lead to further distraction and hardships. What we really need is a popular constitution. We need order. We need peace. Let’s not fail the nation and our future or destroy the hope and optimism.
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. May our good Lord bless Zimbabwe and may we all be covered by the blood of Jesus.
The Closure of the Party
In October 2009, Dr. Shumba temporarily resigned from politics to work as a businessman in Zimbabwe.
"Our revolution is not just about politics, but about economic empowerment also", said Dr. Shumba.