ZIMBABwE – Although she has joined a multi-party bid to force the implementation of electoral reforms, former vice president Joice Mujuru is still not forthcoming on whether the Zanu PF regime rigged the 2013 vote as claimed by the opposition.
Mujuru campaigned for President Robert Mugabe, helping the veteran leader and the ruling Zanu PF party coast to an unexpected landslide victory which ended the coalition government with the opposition MDC parties.
Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was stunned by the route. But he was not alone; his MDC-T party claimed that ruling Zanu PF party MPs were also surprised to discover they had won.
Tsvangirai accused Mugabe and his Zanu PF party of rigging the election.
The ouster of Mujuru over allegations of plotting to kill Mugabe raised opposition hopes that she would help lift the lid on how the ruling party cheats at elections.
Fat chance; in her first extensive interview with western media since she was fired, Mujuru pleaded ignorance. She told the British Sunday Times that she did not see any rigging.
I never saw the rigging I am sure it was a very small clique that was doing it, said the former VP, who is now interim leader of the newly-formed People First party.
Prospective coalition partners in the opposition were not impressed and warned Mujuru that she was of little value to the pro-democracy movement if she does not reveal the regime’s vote rigging secrets.
I do hope it is a diplomatic response meant to evade liability because their key value to opposition politics is not to show that they were dull and everything happened around them, said Jacob Mafume of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
They have to state categorically that they knew there was rigging; how it was done and, more importantly, that they know how to stop it. There is no value if they were also innocent beneficiaries because they will simply become victims now.
MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu said if Mujuru was not kept in the loop regarding the rigging, she better use her remaining sympathisers in government and the security services establishment to help uncover the truth.
”It is beyond debate that the July 31,2013 harmonised elections in Zimbabwe were rigged. Several Zanu PF Members of Parliament were actually surprised when it was announced that they had won in their constituencies, said Gutu.
He added: Now that Joice Mujuru has joined some of us in the opposition trenches, she will very soon get to know the full weight and might of the Zanu PF regime’s totalitarianism and electoral thievery.
It would be better if she could enquire from some of her sympathisers within the securocracy regarding how, exactly, the elections of July 31, 2013 were massively rigged.
In its deeply divided and factionalised current form, Zanu PF is completely incapable of winning a free and fair election.
So their only option will be to resort to rigging; hence the Zanu PF regime’s very strong resistance to all calls for electoral reforms.”
Mujuru, who was fired with several ministers and top Zanu PF officials, has indicated she will challenge the man she calls father in the 2018 elections if President Robert Mugabe is the ruling party’s candidate.
She however, admits it will be tough going convincing Zimbabweans she was different, having been a government minister since independence in 1980 until her sacking in 2014.
It’s difficult to pick a good sheep among the bad, she told the Sunday Times.
But people will vouch they saw me doing good things and never heard me giving a hate speech or encouraging others to kill or beat each other.