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Mujuru continues to haunt Mugabe

by Staff reporter
18 Aug 2016 at 21:54hrs | Views

As the country's eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections get ever closer, former vice president and now leader of the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), Joice Mujuru, continues to haunt President Robert Mugabe's warring Zanu PF - luring hundreds of senior officials from the former liberation movement which expelled her from within its ranks in 2014.

Mujuru's voracious recruitment of senior Zanu PF officials around the country, including sitting legislators, comes as Zanu PF is also reeling over the prospects of the widow of the late liberation struggle icon, General Solomon Mujuru, teaming up with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in their determined bid to end Mugabe's long rule.

War veteran and ZPF elder, Rugare Gumbo, confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that the country's newest political outfit had accelerated its programme to "harvest" significant players from Zanu PF — with the twin objective of strengthening their movement and weakening the ruling party.

"We are working with a lot of Zanu PF MPs and they are doing a great job for us. You see, the situation we have is two-fold.

"On one hand we have (Zanu PF) MPs who are working day and night establishing ZPF structures throughout the country and who will come out only when the time is ripe.

"We also have some, including officials who are not necessarily MPs, who believe in what we are doing but are also not yet ready at the moment to come out in the open and join us publicly," Gumbo said.

Political analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said Mujuru's "final push" against her former party was expected given how she and her allies had been hounded out of Zanu PF on untested allegations of plotting to oust and assassinate Mugabe, and where she still commands significant support.

In a move that analysts described as "very significant", Mujuru held hands and also joined Tsvangirai during another massive MDC demonstration in Gweru last Saturday. And in a reciprocal development that was also variously described as "historic", she was later joined by the MDC top brass at her own rally in the same city.

The development has not gone down well with Zanu PF, with poodle State media going into overdrive, blaming Mujuru's late husband for the planned coalition.

"What Zanu PF is saying is that Mujuru's meeting with Tsvangirai in Gweru and the coalition we are planning is a culmination of a supposed relationship with General Mujuru. This is all just nonsensical rumbling by a panicking political party.

"Mujuru was expelled from Zanu PF because they said she is an enemy and it is only normal that she has chosen to associate with others like Tsvangirai who have been labelled enemies as well.

"When they expelled her what did they expect? That she would fold her arms while they run down the social fabric of the nation?

"They are mistaken because we will not allow that. A coalition of opposition forces is surely on its way and they have every reason to panic," Gumbo said.

Mugabe and Zanu PF are facing myriad problems, including the government's continued failure to pay civil servants on time. This has seen angry citizens protesting over the country's deepening rot, including shortages of cash and an ill-advised ban on the importation of consumer goods.

Last month, war veterans, who had been the bulwark of Zanu PF rule, also served divorce papers on Mugabe after growing disillusioned with his attitude towards them.

War vets have been one of Mugabe and Zanu PF's strongest pillars of support over the past five decades, playing particularly significant roles to keep the nonagenarian in power in the hotly-disputed 2000 and 2008 elections which were both marred by serious violence and the murder of hundreds of opposition supporters.

War veterans' secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, has also since said that their role was "no longer to sing Zanu PF praises".

"At the moment we are not thinking of forming a political party. What we are working for is for the attainment of people's rights. What is important now is not a political party but to push for the rights of the people.

"We must confront the problems that people are faced with. I personally do not think the problems we have need a political party. We must see the challenges that we are faced with as referees.

"You hear people saying pasi nanhingi (down with so and so) but that is like creating a violent society. The slogans we make expose people to violence and must stop.

"It is not a problem to have differences as people, but unfortunately there is no tolerance in our political parties, with Zanu PF leading the way," Matemadanda told the Daily News.

Source - dailynews