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Mujuru challenging Mugabe's 36-year long rule from different fronts

by Staff reporter
07 Aug 2016 at 11:10hrs | Views

Former vice-president Joice Mujuru had her plate full last week challenging President Robert Mugabe's 36-year long rule from different fronts.

After her dramatic expulsion from government in 2014 and Zanu-PF the following year, Mujuru appeared to be taking a step back from politics and even the formation of her Zimbabwe People First party did not seem to convince many that she was ready to fight her long-time mentor.

The former VP has now held several rallies across the country, but it is events of the past two weeks that appear to announce her arrival in opposition politics.

A week ago, Mujuru took Mugabe to the High Court, challenging the government's move to ban the importation of basic commodities which led to massive demonstrations countrywide.

A few days later, she approached the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenging the government's intention to introduce the unpopular bond notes.

And, as if that was not enough, on Monday Mujuru attended Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya's bail hearing after he was arrested for allegedly undermining Mugabe's authority.

This followed the publication of a scathing communiqué describing Mugabe as a dictator.

Mujuru was treated like a hero at Mahiya's court appearance and the former freedom fighters, who contributed to her political downfall two years ago, were all full of praises, referring to her as "president".

Academic Ibbo Mandaza said Mujuru's recent adventures were meant to strategically position her as an opposition political leader while taking advantage of the recent fallout between Zanu-PF and the former freedom fighters.

"What Mujuru is now doing is to strategically position herself as a political leader having made up her mind to do so," he said.

"She is not trying to take-on other opposition political leaders, but is trying to take advantage of the social movement that has gripped the country.

"Of late, she has been liaising and engaging other political leaders such as MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai and just recently she has been in solidarity with arrested war veterans, all in an effort to take advantage of the fallout within the Zanu-PF party."

Mandaza's sentiments were echoed by another political analyst, Gladys Hlatshwayo who said the former VP was not trying to steal the thunder from other opposition leaders.

"Mujuru is now starting to organise her political party and that is why she has decided to appear in public and by so doing, it puts her in a better position if she wants to work with other opposition parties," Hlatshwayo said.

"The way I look at it is that opposition parties should start working together because competition in opposition parties will only aid the ruling party to remain in power.

"By appearing in public and filing those court challenges, people will gain confidence in her and already she has started making in-roads in Zanu-PF areas.

"For example, she has started garnering support from war veterans who were booted out by Zanu-PF. Attending their court hearing will help her to be drawn closer to them."

While other political analysts viewed last week's events as a move in the right direction, political analyst Alois Masepe said it was still premature for Mujuru to lead an opposition political party given her background with Zanu-PF.

Masepe said Mujuru ought to have joined existing opposition parties as opposed to forming her own party since the majority of Zimbabweans viewed her as "a product of the oppressive government which could not be trusted".

"She has been with the ruling party for most of her life and her mandate was to scatter the opposition parties and now she finds herself cut off from Zanu-PF. She cannot be trusted in opposition politics as of now," Masepe said.

"What she is trying to do is to level the playing field and settle old scores but what we want are genuine democratic movers.

"Mujuru is a product of a dictatorship and one party State nursery and ideology. what she ought to have done is to apologise first, join opposition politics and learn from them rather than wanting to lead an opposition political party; she is just a novice in that."

He added: "Mujuru was never persecuted or tortured but was simply kicked out of her party and that does not qualify her to lead an opposition political party.

"She is just appearing in public seeking their sympathy but as an opposition political leader, she is immature."

Source - the standard