via ‘Mujuru ready to fight Zanu PF’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 3, 2015
Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s apology to Zimbabweans and pledge to move on from the failures of President Robert Mugabe’s governments is the strongest indication yet that she is ready to challenge Zanu PF, analysts said yesterday.
By Everson Mushava
Mujuru broke her silence on Monday and admitted she was complicit in the Zanu PF misrule of the past 35 years.
The former freedom fighter said she was now ready to serve Zimbabwe in whatever capacity after going through the trauma caused by her “unprocedural expulsion from the party and government”.
Charles Mangongera, a Harare-based political analyst, said by apologising, Mujuru could be trying to start from a clean slate after her long-running association with Zanu PF.
“That statement sounds like a political manifesto to me,” Mangongera said.
“Her apology for 35 years of failure is an attempt to pre-empt the likely reaction of some sections of society who are sceptical of her given her long association with Zanu PF.
“I will be watching the space with great interest to see if she will be able to build a viable political movement that can help her turn the national sympathy that she enjoys into political support.
“Procrastinating will not help her because Zanu PF is still going to react to her in a vicious manner whether she launches her political project now or later.”
Media expert and political analyst Takura Zhangazha said the statement showed that Mujuru had accepted the fact that she won’t return to Zanu PF.
“It is a significant political departure point for her and is indicative of her potential understanding that she will not return to the Zanu PF fold any time soon,” Zhangazha said.
“This is a move that will help give hope to her supporters that she is not going to betray them.”
However, Zhangazha said Mujuru was still not clear in the statement if she would form a political party.
“As to the formation of a political party, that is not clear in the statement. What is apparent is the statement of regret at her role in Zanu PF and articulation of what she considers to be her own vision of a prosperous Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is that to form a political party, she has to publicly and unambiguously say so.”
Academic and political commentator Ibbo Mandza said Mujuru’s statement was aimed at pacifying her restive supporters who felt she had delayed in forming a party.
He said she was very calculative and the possibility of a pre-congress Zanu PF re-emerging under her was high.
“She is waiting for the politburo to finish suspending people so that she knows whom she would work with,” Mandaza said. “Everything depends on how soon Mugabe will go.”
Jealousy Mawarire, who forced Mugabe to call for elections before reforms in 2013 through a court challenge to the chagrin of opposition parties, said Mujuru had spelt out her vision.
“What is important is that she has introduced a new paradigm in Zimbabwe’s politics. She has spelt her vision and is now calling people to rally behind not only her person, but her vision for the country,” he said. “She has stated categorically the Zimbabwe she wishes to see and is now calling for people to rally behind her vision.”
Mawarire said Mujuru must do a lot of underground work organising structures before unveiling a political party.
“What is the essence of just a political name? What is important are structures that are not made public to appointments,” he said.
“Remember, most of her supporters will come from Zanu PF. She has to organise her structures clandestinely before announcing that she has formed a party.”
But Information minister Jonathan Moyo described Mujuru’s statement as hollow.
“What is she accepting now from the cold which she could not accept when she was feeling hot?” Moyo posted on microblogging site Twitter.
Mujuru was a strong contender to succeed Mugabe as Zanu PF leader alongside Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa before a dramatic reversal of fortunes towards the end of last year.