via Mugabe my only rival, Mujuru declares 14/09/2014
IN A bid to douse flames lit by her impatient ambition to depose President Robert Mugabe from the helm of Zanu PF, a “Freudian slip” by Vice President Joice Mujuru has thrust her back into the ruling party’s succession strife.
Mujuru, who denies leading a faction in Zanu PF, used an interview with the state-run Herald newspaper last Saturday to try and put a lid on claims that her vaulting ambition is tearing the party apart ahead of a key congress in December.
“The President is my faction,” yarned Mujuru, soon after receiving her Doctorate from Mugabe during a graduation ceremony at the University of Zimbabwe.
Mujuru, who could face a challenge from Emmerson Mnangagwa during the December congress, then appeared to dismiss the Justice Minister as a “junior”, insisting that her battles were with much senior competition.
Last night, an analyst described Mujuru’s comments as a “Perry Mason moment”, after the famous TV lawyer who would barge witnesses until they got frustrated and made shock admissions to stunned courtrooms.
“All along, Mujuru has been denying that she wants to challenge her boss, President Mugabe, but in trying to make her latest denial, she has basically said ‘I’m not fighting those below me, my only fight is with the one at the top’,” said the analyst.
Mujuru and Mnangagwa are locked in a bitter race to succeed Mugabe, 90 this year, despite the veteran leader earning a new five-year mandate in general elections only last July.
Mugabe has shown signs of losing patience with Mujuru and her supporters in recent weeks – a culmination of months of sniping at his heels by the Vice President’s acolytes, including using money to try and influence the outcomes of the youth and women’s conferences which produce key voters for the congress.
Zanu PF went into meltdown in August last year when Mujuru, following a memorial service for her late husband, Solomon, sought out a reporter from the anti-establishment Daily News and granted an exclusive interview in which she declared herself ready to succeed Mugabe.
“Zanu PF will never die because President Mugabe is no longer there; there are people who now can lead the party. He has taught us a lot on how to lead the party.”