via Mujuru’s guerrilla tactic: Shrewd or coward? – New Zimbabwe 12/09/2015
SINCE her shock ouster from both Zanu PF and government late last year, former Vice President Joice Mujuru has cast a reticent figure, quietly soaking up endless insults especially from the first family.
Her silence was viewed as rather too strange for a battle-hardened ex-combatant and celebrated (until recently) veteran of the country’s liberation war back in the 1970s.
Even her meek responses to repeated accusations of witchcraft by President Robert Mugabe were seen as bordering on cowardice.
Many were beginning to attach her political achievements to her late husband Solomon Mujuru’s political clout.
But, just as her nemesis was warming up to her supposed humility and even gazetting a fat cheque to accompany her “retirement”, Mujuru dropped a bombshell last week which removed all the ambiguities associated with both her silence and political future.
This she did in the most boorish of ways, pledging through her “manifesto” that she was going to offer white Zimbabweans land, strike off repressive legislation and restore the rule of law. The opposite, critics say, has been used brutishly by a Zanu PF to retain power.
But while she has successfully turned a few heads through her fresh bravado, it is her guerrilla style modus operandi that has divided opinion among locals.
A Harare based political analyst who preferred not to be named for fear of jeopardising his contractual obligations said by always keeping Zimbabweans guessing on her next step, Mujuru ensured she remained relevant and firm on the national political agenda.
Keep them guessing
“One of the laws on power says, you must make yourself scarce to be attractive. If you become too common you lose value,” he said.
“It confuses the enemy while making an enigma or a myth around yourself. Once you consolidate you can then unleash full throttle.
“Imagine what she would be had she issued the statement early this year soon after being fired? She would be damaged goods by now. It’s a long way to 2018 (next elections) when you are dealing with Zanu PF.”
Harare based political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya thinks differently, saying Mujuru’s uncanny strategy exposed her political weaknesses.
He said: “If you are going to be launching a brand, why should you want to hide under the table?
“People First (Mujuru’s party) must either be a political party, a think-tank or a movement. You do not do manifestos based on individual perceptions but institutional ones. She is a coward.
“She should come out and be very clear what the structures are. There is no need to hide.”
Ngwenya is adamant Mujuru was repeating the “mistake” that former Zanu PF politburo member and now opposition Mavambo/Kusile leader, Simba Makoni made when he left the former liberation war movement insisting he had the backing of many party heavyweights.
However, journalist and social commentator Tawanda Majoni feels the country’s former number two was on point with a strategy which he says was best suited for the current brute politics pursued by Zanu PF.
“I think, so far, she is not doing too badly,” he says.
“It would always be natural for her to do that way because she still has to scan the landscape to see what is happening so that she would know where to tread and what to avoid.
“She is trying to calibrate things and eventually form a political party maybe early 2017. Anything earlier than that will invite Zanu PF’s counter strategies which we all know can be too severe.”
Zanu PF ready
Majoni’s comments dovetail with threats issued by hawkish Zanu PF politician and current higher education minister Jonathan Moyo who said earlier this year the revolutionary party machinery was ready to stymie any fresh attempt by Mujuru to rekindle her political life.
“I am very sure, we have a very long way before the next election and those of us like the PC (Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere) here and others are at work and just watch the space and see what that work is going to be,” Moyo said.
“The bravado that ‘no, they can’t do this to us, we are going to take them on, there would be litigation, we will form a party’, it has happened before; and just like before it will not lead to anything.”
“These things are problematic when they happen on the eve of an election. But when they happen one and half years after an election, three years before the next election, please don’t waste a lot of time thinking this is very important, it will not lead to anything.”