PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has abandoned a whole generation of Zimbabweans and it will take a new administration to go through the painstaking exercise of documenting them, opposition leader Joice Mujuru has said. BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Source: Mugabe has abandoned Zimbabweans: Mujuru – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 19, 2016
Mujuru, former Vice-President in Mugabe’s government before she was forced out at the end of 2014, told a South African television station that victims of an army crackdown in Matabeleland and Midlands in the 1980’s, popularly known as Gukurahundi, were still suffering while in exile.
“We have heard harrowing tales of what Zimbabweans are going through. Qualified Zimbabweans have abandoned their professions to become waiters, while others die in abject poverty. For a freedom fighter like myself, this is not what we expected when we fought,” she said.
Mujuru suggested the 92-year-old leader was now out of touch with reality.
“My worry is whether President Mugabe knows what his people are going through? Does he have the real picture? That his people have had to dig for food in dumping grounds, children as young as four and veterans of the liberation struggle from the Zipra side.
“Some are victims of Gukurahundi and have no documentation ran away from home and now have families here. It is no longer about politicking, this is reality. We are not coming here for political mileage, but to try and help South Africa deal with a problem we have created up there,” she said.
While addressing a rally in Pretoria on Saturday Mujuru was reportedly confronted by two protesters, who were demanding answers for her role in the post-war atrocities that conservative figures claimed killed 20 000 innocent civilians under the guise of hunting down a few dozen “dissidents”.
Mujuru added that Mugabe should shoulder the blame for the sporadic outbreaks of xenophobia normally blamed on South Africans.
“It (xenophobia) is a reaction from South Africans because their space is being taken,” she said.
The ZimPF leader, who is in South Africa urged Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to take part in future elections.
“We know we have people who have left Zimbabwe without sufficient papers to warrant their stay here. We are aware that the situation has not been good for them at home and even here. For us we think registering to vote and come home during elections.
“This is why people are engaging in protests to create an even electoral playfield to give Zimbabweans the dignity they hoped for when they fought for liberation. I have come to engage them and hear their voices as well as understand their situation,” Mujuru said.
With Mugabe under pressure to reverse “toxic” policies blamed for investor flight, Mujuru said if she wins the next elections her policies would allow for investments from all corners of the world.
“We would want to put in place policies that reward everyone. If people want to invest they should know they will reap rewards, but the investment should also help the generality of Zimbabweans,” the former VP said.