ZIMBABWE People First (ZimPF) leader and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru has said she is ready to lead a coalition government if the other political parties she is working with endorse her.
Source: I’m ready to lead coalition: Mujuru – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 8, 2016
By Everson Mushava
During a question-and-answer session after her address at the British thinktank, Chatham House, on Thursday, Mujuru, however, said she would not demand to lead the coalition, although she was ready to do so if endorsed.
Mujuru also said a ZimPF government would form a vibrant truth and reconciliation commission to heal the nation from past human rights violations perpetrated by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF government.
Mujuru served in Mugabe’s administration for 34 years until she was unceremoniously hounded out on allegations of plotting to assassinate the veteran Zanu PF leader.
“A coalition is being muted. We are already creating a foundation that will allow Zimbabweans to work together,”she said.
“I am sure a coalition can be achieved, but some of us, because of our culture, we don’t demand leadership positions, but will be ready to do so if endorsed by the other political parties we are working with.”
ZimPF is one of the opposition political parties negotiating a coalition to unseat Mugabe in the 2018 elections. Other opposition figures like People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti are campaigning for a National Transitional Authority to lead the country to pave way for free and fair elections.
Mujuru also said a ZimPF administration would leave no stone unturned in healing the country from its violent past, saying she knew how painful it was to lose loved ones because she had also lost a close relative in recent times.
Mujuru lost her husband, decorated war hero, General Solomon Mujuru, in an inferno at his Beatrice farm in 2011.
The former Vice-President has maintained that she suspects foul play in the death of her husband.
“Even in our culture, we know what we should do when you destroy someone’s property or life. As ZimPF, we will leave no stone unturned in addressing the past violations so that there will be healing and development in the country,” Mujuru said.
Quizzed on her position on the land issue, the former VP said although the land reform programme was irreversible, there would be land rationalisation to ensure equitable distribution of the resource.
“The land reform is irreversible, but there will be rationalisation so that all of you who call themselves Zimbabweans should have access to land,” Mujuru said.
Responding to many questions on whether she could be trusted as a leader, Mujuru said she was working with other opposition parties because they had seen that she had left Zanu PF for good.
She said the decision to chuck her out was mulled a long time ago because she had always been seen as a moderate pursuing pro-Western policies in a party dominated by hardliners.
“In Zimbabwean politics, calling someone an agent of the West is a way of hiding very fundamental policy differences between you and that person,” Mujuru said, adding that even when she was still in Zanu PF, a lot of things were being done wrongly but as a trained liberation cadre, she could not criticise her boss Mugabe.
During her address, Mujuru said Zimbabwe’s economic collapse was as a result of policy discord and deficiency from an old leadership that was remote to the dynamic of a fast-changing world and demands of the youths.
Mujuru also dispelled suspicion that she had remained linked to Zanu PF after she was sacked in early 2015.
The former VP spelt her party position, claiming that she would restore constitutionalism, rule of law and investment confidence in the country whose economy had been run down by the “clueless” Zanu PF leadership.
“Zimbabwean politics has been dominated by very old people. Mugabe is 92 and both his vices Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko are in their mid to late 70s,” she said.
“Because of their advanced age, Mugabe, Mnangagwa and Mphoko cannot understand, let alone deliver, the aspirations of dynamic young people who seek a modern Zimbabwe that embraces the world. Many young people have turned away from political parties because of this generational disconnect.”
Mujuru said ZimPF would be responsive to the needs of the youths and not respond with brute force like what Mugabe was doing. She said the youths represented the country’s future.
She said she would restore confidence in the banking, finance and mining sectors, adding that she would also resuscitate industry to create employment and support those who wanted to remain in the informal sector.