NFP parliamentary leader Shaik-Emam defects to another party

Outspoken parliamentarian and former National Freedom Party leader in the national assembly, Munzoor Shaik-Emam, has resurfaced as the President of the Allied Movement for Change (AM4C).

Pulling no punches

Shaik-Emam gained prominence in the national assembly for holding no punches and communicating the views of the NFP, despite being a small party with only two seats.

His unscripted political debates often ruffled feathers among other opposition politicians, who accused him of wanting to appease the governing ANC at all costs.

On Tuesday, at a press conference in Durban, Shaik-Emam was announced as the AM4C  presidential candidate. The party, although formed in 2013, will be contesting the national and provincial elections for the first time.

No longer voice of the people

Regarding the jumping ship from the NFP, Shaik-Emam accused the Inkatha Freedom Party splinter party of no longer being the voice of the people. 

“I found it not conducive to serving the best interests of the people, and hence, after much contemplation and in the interest of the people, I made a decision with the support of my former party members to join the AM4C in the coming elections,” he said.

He also explained that he was not the only one joining the new political home, but he was taking other senior leaders of the party with him.

“The media is aware of the challenges and concerns that the NFP has faced since 2006, therefore, these members are also joining AM4C in their numbers,” he stated.

The party was built around the popularity of its late leader, Zanele KaMaGwaza-Msibi.

A powerful leader who left IFP due to a fallout

She was a powerful IFP leader, and at some stage she was believed to be groomed to replace Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. But she unceremoniously exited the IFP following a public fallout with senior party leaders including Buthelezi.

In 2011, after the municipal election results, the NFP became a kingmaker in several hung councils, which almost led to the demise of the IFP. All the local councils previously under the IFP were co-governed by the NFP-ANC pact. The IFP was left with only musings and Hlabisa municipalities.

But after Magwaza-Msibi fell ill, jostling and divisions within the party started creeping in. The party eventually failed to participate in the 2016 local government elections.

In 2021 elections, the party appeared to be on a comeback trail, gaining a few council seats in KwaZulu-Natal and a mayorship in one municipality, eDumbe, under the Zululand district. But hostile relations persisted after last year’s conference, further dividing the party.

During the media briefing Sindisiwe Mashinini, a former prominent NFP leader was also announced as the KZN premier candidate.

At the top of the party’s agenda is addressing the energy crisis, low economic growth, high level of crime, corruption and collapsing state owned enterprises among others. 

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