Mujuru resurfaces

via Mujuru resurfaces – DailyNews Live 23 July 2015

HARARE – A thriller of epic proportions — if the political climate does not turn typically violent and even murderous — is on the cards in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, after the Zanu PF formation that uses the slogan People First confirmed yesterday that former Vice President Joice Mujuru (pictured) will lead the party.

President Robert Mugabe’s warring party split into two bitterly-opposed formations at the end of last year — at the height of the former liberation movement’s internal ructions and subsequent ruthless purges of its senior officials — with many of its liberation struggle stalwarts moving to reconstitute the “original” Zanu PF that is now taking on the nonagenarian’s faction-ridden post-congress Zanu PF.

Spokesperson for the “original” Zanu PF that uses the slogan People First Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that after months of dithering and not showing her hand publicly, Mujuru was now ready to come out in the open and lead the party — whose official launch insiders say is imminent.

Were this to happen, it would mean that the popular former VP would be among a stellar cast of candidates, that include indefatigable opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who will take Mugabe head-on in the 2018 presidential elections — if the nonagenarian will still be the post-congress Zanu PF’s candidate for those polls.

Gumbo said yesterday that the group of liberation struggle pioneers, war veterans, security sector bigwigs and “millions of other Zimbabweans” who were involved with the People First movement were all acutely aware that time was not on their side to launch the party to contest the 2018 elections.

“Mai Mujuru is absolutely part of the project. She is actively involved. She is there and determined to see to it that the aspirations of those that liberated this country are realised,” Gumbo said.

Pressed to say why Mujuru had thus far not publicly pronounced on her association with the rival Zanu PF formation, he said the widow of the late and revered liberation struggle icon, General Solomon Mujuru, had “wanted the dust to settle”, in the wake of the chaos that followed her expulsion and that of her perceived allies from the post-congress Zanu PF.

“We also believed that it was not necessary for her to pronounce herself on the issue because the situation was still cloudy. So, we respected the position that she took. She needs to now come out in the open and show direction, and we are sure in a few weeks’ time she will do just that.

“We have a movement that has been looking into the logistics of coming up with the party consulting on how best we can go about it. We think we are moving in the right direction and we have no alternative than to look into that direction of coming up with a party.

“We had to do something because there are a lot of things we are not happy about. For example, we are concerned about the government’s use of force to remove vendors from the streets. While we believe that there is need for order in the way vendors do their business, we are against the idea of chasing them out without providing an alternative.

“Government must understand that the vendors are there out of desperation. They are looking for markets for their wares and it is incumbent upon government to engage them to find an amicable solution, but you cannot push them to the outskirts where there are no markets,” Gumbo said.

Probed further on the launch of the People First movement, he said it had already started building structures at grassroots level, as there were many disgruntled members dotted across the country, who were “itching to start working for the party”.

Analysts and insiders who have spoken to the Daily News have said that the recent splitting of the party into Zanu PF Mugabe and the “original” Zanu PF, amid much acrimony and bloodletting, meant that the prospects of reconciling the two factions any time soon were “slim to non-existent”.

“The die is cast my brother and it’s too late to stop the Rumble in the Jungle that will be the election in 2018 between President Mugabe or his proxy Ngwena (Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa) and Mai Mujuru,” said a top Zanu PF official who requested anonymity.

“The third leg of this titanic battle will, of course, be Tsvangirai who as everyone knows beat Gushungo (Mugabe) cleanly in the 2008 elections and will once again be running,” the official added.

Commenting on Mujuru’s prospects in politics, senior researcher for Southern Africa for Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga, said recently that the fact that she had been a minister for 24 years and a vice president for 10 years, meant that she had a significant following within Zanu PF and across Zimbabwe generally.

“Most of those fighting and opposing her in Zanu PF are mafikizolos (Johnny-come-latelies) who have no support base in Zanu PF and who rely on smear campaigns, violence and the use of sections of the security forces to bulldoze and impose their will upon Zanu PF structures.

“If Amai Joice Mujuru is given a fair chance in the absence of persecution and harassment, then it can be said with fair certainty that she is a front runner in an open, democratic process.

“But opposition forces are better off coming together to form a grand coalition to push for democratic reforms ahead of 2018,” Mavhinga said.

Joy Mabenge, regional co-ordinator for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said there was an assumption that Mugabe would be available in 2018 and that he would still be within “the requisite capacities to contest and head the country at 94”.

“That assumption may be a fallacy given the fact that all forces of nature relating to him are now clearly pulling in the opposite direction. There is a real possibility that Mujuru may actually bounce back into Zanu Patriotic Front as its leader before 2018.

“However, if we go by the assumption that Mugabe will still be there and fit for purpose in 2018, then a Mujuru presidential candidacy as a head of a faction of Zanu will most likely be more of a gift to the MDC than it would be to Mugabe, assuming that die-hard MDC supporters and die-hard Zanu PF supporters remain (by numbers) constant and do not swing.

“History has taught us that splinter factions cannot and will not be able to easily create their own social base, but will instead want to tap, first and foremost, from the pond they are splitting from, before they try, with difficulty, to tap from other ponds.

“The reality is that the pool of voters is neither elastic nor expansive and therefore a split of votes is more likely,” Mabenge said.

Gladys Hlatywayo, a civil rights activist and political analyst, said it was difficult to give a prognosis because electoral outcomes in Zimbabwe had less to do with real support on the ground.

“Allegations of rigging and absence of a level playing field make it difficult to point with precision to the outcome of these processes.

“What is clear though is that Zanu PF is now in a serious quandary. The once homogeneous liberation movement is now reduced to a shadow of itself with news of expulsions and suspensions making headlines each day.

“This, coupled with an ageing leader, will be the Achilles heel of Zanu PF. The former vice president is a contender in the race although there is still no empirical evidence to prove her chances.

“Based on lived experiences of previous elections, it might be strategic for all voices against Zanu PF to coalesce and collaborate towards 2018.

“There is a real opportunity for change in 2018 but it depends on what opposition political parties choose to do between now and 2018 and I would argue that working together will be the game changer,” she said.


  • comment-avatar
    Rockstone 7 years ago

    Ohhh, it really amazes me , 1 Didmusy Mutasa had recently stated that ZANU pf rigged all the elections 2008 & 2013 , it really sounds that even if it is true that they had finally formed another ZANU pf formation , they will not beat Tsvangirai , because the will of the people is still in Tsvangirai ‘s favour ,so my question is ,if these cannibals are to put people ‘s interest at heart, they should join force with the MAIN opposition , which is , in this case MDC ,then they must face one mechanised opponent head on .These antics may sound deceiving , but at the same time I think people are aware ,so why then is this team deciding to form a seperate opposition part if it is people first project ,?why did they not prioritized people first expression for the past era , before their split ?.People know that they were part of mechanism which had demonized them left right and centre .

  • comment-avatar
    harper 7 years ago

    Having been within the leadership clique for many years Mai Mujuru you must know what happens to people who are a threat to the leadership – look at your history from Nhari onwards.

  • comment-avatar
    James Gray 7 years ago

    If these Mujurus and Mutatsas are for people first they should do what is in the interest of Zimbabweans and that is the ouster of ZANU PF from office.
    They should tea up with a team that already exist and build a formidable force against Mugabe. But here I see people who once again trying secure their lost glories. The same selfish behaviour, self-seeking megalomaniacs. Another opposition party will simply broaden areas of disagreement because MDC-T/Renewal/N and possibly The Mutambara guy/ Kusile on the other hand will confuse the electorate. This will split the vote further to ZANU PF advantage. Opposition should unite…Period

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    mandevu 7 years ago

    Mmmhh. it all sounds too convenient, doesn’t it?