After months of internal leadership wrangles in the United Democratic Front (UDF), one of its founding members, Friday Jumbe, has quit and formed Labour Party. Paida Mpaso asks Jumbe to explain his partyâ€™s vision and objectives.
One of the issues you are advocating is power to the people. Why did you not champion this when you were in UDF?
It is always difficult to bring change in an old organisation. Those in management will tell you that change is very difficult. So, UDF, being a big party, had its own character. I donâ€™t want to say much, but many of us in there were tied in chains and could not speak democratically. We were all afraid to make changes, but now we are free to come up with changes.
Most politicians just have manifestos which they never implement. How serious is Labour Party?
This is true because most manifestos are written by people who are hired and basically get the materials from the internet. But our manifesto is home-grown. These are our ideas and we will fulfil them ourselves, given the opportunity. We will be on the ground and we will achieve all these.
Do you have enough resources to enable you to contest in 2014?
I canâ€™t say much on this, but what I know is that Labour Party has been formed. We were once a faction and we survived, we never failed. What more a party? If rich people fund a party, that party ceases to belong to the people, but this party is for the people and the funds will be available.
In whose capacity are you saying all this?
The problem with journalists is that they want to make you say what you did not want to. Now you want to impose the presidential position on me. I am saying, we are Labour Party, and all those issues will be answered when we hold a convention. We will come to you when everything is ready, but for now, you can call me whatever you want.
While in UDF, you were branded as a bunch of confusionists. Why should people trust you?
We are not a bunch of confusionists. Where there are problems, people always strategise. We [discovered] that we were not wanted and we started making hay and here we are. I donâ€™t think there is anything wrong with our party….we went as far as to court to try to stop the convention so that we could sort things out, but we were denied.
So, you formed this party because you were desperate?
No, we havenâ€™t formed the party because we are desperate. We have formed this party because a need has arisen to form a party and there is political space where we can be accommodated.
We were part of UDF once and they will always be our brothers, but we need to move away from bickering and fighting and that is why we are here.
So, you taking this party to 2014?
Yes and all the way. This is not a vehicle [through which we want] to join another party. Our party has a sound ideology. We are for people of all ethnic backgrounds, our party cuts across religion and gives power to the people.