Mujuru misses friends in Zanu PF

Source: Mujuru misses friends in Zanu PF – DailyNews Live

2 July 2017

HARARE – Ever since she was pushed out of Zanu PF in 2014, former vice
president Joice Mujuru has struggled to set her political career on an
upward trajectory.

Upon exiting the ruling party, she found herself at the Zimbabwe People
First (ZPF) as the party’s interim leader. It was, however, not long
before relations soured at ZimPF, leading to her formation of the National
People’s Party, which is still in its formative stages. Our reporter,
Fungi Kwaramba, sat down with Mujuru to discuss these and other issues.

Q: It’s been two years since you left government, how is life outside Zanu
PF and government?

A: It is different; it’s never the same. When you are part of the ruling
fraternity, most of your programmes (official and private) are taken care
of by government; you just use the same resources (to implement them);
it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

I am enjoying some new things now such as finding new friends, and doing
new things. I enjoy working with the people, hence I now have time to
spend with ordinary people. I am now exposed to things that my eye missed
while I was in government, now that I have an eagle view of what is going
on in Zimbabwe. I could have missed all these things had I remained in

Q: What do you miss in government?

A: I miss my friends, yes. You miss some moments, which you used to enjoy
when you were with some of these people.

Q: You have been meeting people on your tours to such places as
Beitbridge; how has that experience impacted on your life as a politician?

A: These visits are bringing emotions. In Beitbridge, I had the
opportunity to meet with a family which lost a brother, and a father who
was a musician during Gukurahundi. His family is not getting any royalties
from his music. Meeting them was like reliving Gukurahundi. The emotions
that come with losing loved ones keep coming back. In my case, having
launched a party that seeks to address these issues, I hope to bring
closure to such issues (once elected to form the next government).

I became very emotional. I started asking myself if I will be able to
satisfy the expectations of these people? I asked myself if I could solve
these problems as a political leader because we are tired of these
needless fights, and we need to bring our people together.

Q: How do you propose to bring about reconciliation and building bridges
between victims and perpetrators?

A: We want to come up with a Peace, Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
and be the first to come up with a model to deal with this issue without
causing more harm to the affected families. On my part, we are looking up
to the elderly with a lot of wisdom and a lot of pastoral background (to
lead this initiative). We do want people who are easily excitable as we
confront this issue.

Q: How are you going to deal with the fear factor that runs deep in
Zimbabwe after years of political violence and extra-judicial killings?

A: You have to go to the affected places again and again and preach your
message. You must stick your head out and be with the people, including
those who have lost their land to the political elite.

Q: What is your policy on land; and as the policy relates to several
government officials with multiple farms?

A: The reason we took up arms was to regain our land for which we lost
many people and we must not forget that. What we are now fighting for is
to bring the train back on the rails and provide bread and butter to our

People must enjoy their freedoms, because that is what we sacrificed a lot
for. It’s unfortunate that when war veterans seek answers to some
questions, the police are unleashed on them; dogs are unleashed on them,
and they are no longer able to discuss anything with Mugabe whom we know
would not be in that position without war veterans.

Q: Are you still bitter with the way you were treated by Zanu PF?

A: I still ask; why did you (Robert Mugabe) do what you did to Mujuru? He
would not have been in this mess, if I had remained in Zanu PF. It did not
only hurt me, but many others who looked up to me as their leader. The way
it was handled was wrong. He should have just called me and asked me to
retire after having served 10 years as his deputy. I would have listened
to him because of who I am.

I am feeling sorry for those in Zanu PF. (Emmerson) Mnangagwa celebrated
(my dismissal) because it benefited him but how does he feel now that he
is being mistreated just as I was being ill-treated? Why are they
punishing this gentleman? Why do you have to drag him into all this mess?
If Mugabe does not want Mnangagwa, why doesn’t he just fire him?

He has suffered a lot and we should not celebrate when we see a fellow
human being suffering because we are all humans.

Q: What is the role of the army in Zimbabwe’s politics?

A: There are people who forget about who we are. What is happening in Zanu
PF is their own making! I have very little time to discuss these people.

What concerns me is the welfare of people in places such as Chitungwiza.
There is really nothing to write home about what is happening in Zimbabwe.

Even those of us in the fragmented opposition parties, we should be
talking about bread and butter issues and not positions.

Q: What about statements attributed to Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander,
general Constantino Chiwenga regarding critics of Command Agriculture?
Should the army have a say in politics?

A: While securocrats must remain in their barracks, Chiwenga is a
political soldier; he grew up in the liberation struggle, and his role was
that of political commissar and that is what he is doing even now. What we
are looking for right now is a soldier who will not take sides; a soldier
who is above party politics. And when such things arise, the army should
take the middle road.

Q: Regarding the grand coalition, is there progress made?

A: We have done so much in building the coalition but everything goes with
trust; don’t forget that a lot of these opposition parties are mutations
of the MDC so trust is a major issue, and to try and get them back is not
going to be easy even though our objectives are the same. Our people are
not interested with positions, (they simply want change).

Q: Do you believe in a multilateral coalition or just one involving the
MDC and your party?

A: Our co-values are equity and inclusivity.

Q: Are you not afraid of being infiltrated if you take on board many

A: Even bigger parties have been infiltrated. The question is; why is the
State setting spies on us? We are not trying to shed blood! What we are
seeking to achieve is provided for in the Constitution.

We are grouping in a good way, getting to understand each other. And where
we are failing to understand each other, we are trying to minimise the
differences. If we had not ironed out our pre-independence differences, we
would not have had the independence that we are enjoying today.

Three months were spent at Lancaster, negotiating our independence and we
are seeking to do the same with our negotiations for a grand coalition. We
may get to a stage where we may bring in a mediator to help us break the
deadlock if we fail to iron out some of the things because we want the
coalition as soon as possible.

Q: You seem to be running out of time. Do you have a time-frame for the
completion of the negotiations?

A:…laughs. Next question please.

Q: Do you want to lead the coalition?

A: People should ask; what type of a leader do we want; do we want a
leader or a ruler… with such a diverse background, let us be genuine (in
our negotiations).You cannot just say I am Mai Mujuru and I should lead,
no. You should know what is expected of a leader.

Q: People are leaving your party en masse; it seems the centre can no
longer hold even before you hold your national convention.

A: If a person leave our party, it’s fine. People are free to belong to a
political party of their choice. We are already choosing our leadership
through mini-conventions in provinces. We have done a unique thing by
holding conventions in provinces because we are a people’s party and we
are doing what people want us to do.

Q: Do you think that Zimbabwe is ready for a female president?

A: As women, we have always been ready to lead and we have outperformed
men in different fields. I don’t understand why some say women are not
ready when we have performed well in the past. When the war was being
fought, women were there, and now the war is over and you are now saying
women are not ready, really.

Q: They are allegations that you are working with Morgan Tsvangirai’s
deputy, Thokozani Khupe, to topple him. Is that correct?

A: I have my own party, Tsvangirai has his. What we agreed to do is to
make sure that all women vote. We are trying to ensure that women who have
not been voting before do so. It has nothing to do with what is being

Q: The late Dick Chingaira was denied hero status because of alleged
connections with you. Were you linked?

A: First of all, I had not seen Chinx for over three years, but before
that we were in touch. When I was still in government, I was approached by
(Joseph) Nyadzayo, the photographer in the President’s Office, pleading
that he had this project which he wanted to fulfil through the Zimbabwe
Music Association (Zima). It really touched me as a mother because I saw
Chinx’s house being destroyed by government (during operation

So I committed to helping him in a small way. Is that a sin? For your own
information, Chinx is my son-in-law and even Nyadzawo did not know it. He
will hear it from you. As human beings, we forget quickly. It is not just
Chinx who was ignored.

We have Anderson Mhuru, a member of the High Command, who is buried in
Chinhoyi. We have Sheba Tavagwisa, a female member of the High Command who
is buried in Gutu. We have Mhaka, and many others (who were ignored).

As war veterans, we have been used and now they have dumped us. Who in the
current politburo is qualified to talk about war veterans? This hero
status thing is about who knows you. Who knows Chinx in that politburo;
only maybe (Sydney) Sekeramayi and Mnangagwa?