‘Mujuru could spring surprise’

via ‘Mujuru could spring surprise’ November 21, 2014

VICE-President Joice Mujuru refuses to back down in the face of stinging rebukes and a clear charge to make sure she resigns from her post before next month’s congress, where some think she may spring an unlikely surprise.

In the face of increasing personal attacks on her and her family, Mujuru has largely remained quiet, only once issuing a statement, where she repeated her intentions to continue serving in her position.

In a strange twist of fate, Mujuru remained acting as President while President Robert Mugabe travelled to Equatorial Guinea, only a day after First Lady Grace Mugabe reiterated calls that she must resign.

Analysts feel there is a deliberate strategy to frustrate Mujuru before congress, because her adversaries fear she may brew a shocker at next month’s meeting.
They added that attempts to push her out before congress suggests fear that ordinary party members might ignore Grace’s angry calls to dump her and, instead, vote her back to her position.

This, they said, is one chance those calling for her ouster cannot take, hence pushing for her ouster before Congress and even now insisting that the President better appoint his lieutenants.

Political analyst Beloved Chiweshe summed it up, saying those writing off Mujuru would do so at their own peril.

“Politicians are known to have multiple lives,” he said.

“The chances of a comeback between now and congress may be limited, but a lot can change the dynamics within Zanu PF, the President’s age and reports of ill-health being key.

“What the Mujuru camp may do between now and the congress is difficult to predict. However, her liberation credentials might cushion her from possible extremist behaviour by party members.”

South Africa-based media scholar Trust Matsilele, however, argued otherwise, saying it was highly unlikely Mujuru would be co-opted into the executive, even though she might draw support.

“There is some reconfiguration in the liberation party, as the minority faction tries to consolidate its position post-Mugabe era,” he said.

“They are making such pronouncements as a pre-emptive measure to ensure that if she is to win at the congress, she is not co-opted into the executive.”

A Mujuru ouster at the congress could trigger a Cabinet reshuffle, considering Mugabe usually takes his annual leave immediately after the meeting and he might be loathe to leave someone just ousted in charge.

There are also reports that if Mujuru fails to garner a nomination from the provinces, she may be nominated from the floor, a move that could embarass the mandarins pushing for her ouster.

This, informed sources say, could be the reason why there was a purge of her perceived supporters within provincial structures.

Already controversy is brewing on the accreditation of delegates to attend the meeting, as there seems to be an orchestrated effort to cull anyone aligned to the Vice-President.

Initially, Mujuru’s adversaries called for a secret ballot election at the party’s congress, when they realised that this was not gaining traction, they changed tack and now want Mugabe to appoint his deputies.

Mujuru is accused of a raft of charges ranging from corruption and promoting factionalism to treason.