Mujuru’s British landmine

Mujuru’s British landmine

OPPOSITION National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru’s joy in addressing an international audience in Britain might face a hitch after it emerged her adversaries are cooking up a sinister plot to waylay the former Vice-President.

Source: Mujuru’s British landmine – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 7, 2017

By Everson Mushava

According to leaked WhatsApp chats, a plot by the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) led by her erstwhile comrades, Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa, to embarrass her in front of an international audience likely to include British MPs, was underway.

Mujuru dumped ZimPF last week and formed the NPP after her former allies-turned-arch-rivals Mutasa and Gumbo threatened a bruising legal fight over the use of the party name. The trio fell out last month after Mujuru expelled seven senior ZimPF officials over an alleged plot to unseat her.

While the change of name might have cooled tempers, reports of the UK plot show the fight is still on.

Mujuru arrived in London yesterday morning where she is expected to address British MPs, African ambassadors and non-governmental organisations beginning today.

The event is part of celebrations to mark International Women’s Day. She is in the UK at the invitation of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, London School of Economics and Political Science.

The leaked chats between one Fungai Murisa, a Mutasa ally, Margaret Dongo, Mujuru’s former women’s league boss, and Marakia Bomani, who reportedly heads the ZimPF UK branch, showed Gumbo and Mutasa loyalists have hatched a plot to confuse her in front of the international audience and steal her glitter.

“I think in Britain there should be a team of questioners to make her sweat unconditionally,” Murisa suggested.

“Bomani, your territory cannot be messed by Runaida [Mujuru]. Be as journalist ikoko (there) (sic), Haanonoki kutiza akawandirwa nemibvunzo (She is quick to flee if she is bombarded by too many questions.”

Another official, Andrew Muranda, agreed Mujuru could be easily overwhelmed.

“During the Chatham House invite, she made the land compensation blunder. What now? However, publicity is publicity. There is nothing like bad publicity,” he said.

Although Dongo was not picking calls yesterday, in the chats, she asked Bomani to arrange women to go and challenge Mujuru during question time about her dictatorship.

Bomani queried the purpose of Mujuru’s London visit, saying: “That she is coming here for International Women’s Day celebrations is nonsense. This is just a cover-up.”

He confirmed the chats, although he said he would not attend the Mujuru function.

“Whoever is giving you the information is mischievous and wants to solicit support and sympathy for Mujuru,” Bomani said yesterday.

“I won’t go there because I am not an NPP member, but ZimPF. So I don’t have any business there. You can see from the chats, I was only asking whether Mujuru was no longer on the sanctions list to frequently visit London.”

NPP spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire accused the rival group of being State agents.

“We have always known these characters are not genuine opposition elements. They are Zimbabwe government secret agents who are there to create false revulsion of opposition political parties.

“That people like Margaret Dongo are in it is not surprising since they are the ones who, last time, fabricated false reports that Dr Mujuru was using a Zimbabwean embassy Mercedes Benz when it is clear Zimbabwean embassies have no such vehicles, are broke and can’t even pay rentals for their offices,” Mawarire said.