ZIMBABWE – Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru has, following her expulsion from Zanu-PF, likened herself to Jesus Christ who assured a repented criminal that was crucified with him that he would be with him in paradise.
Retired Colonel Kudzai Mbudzi shared Mujuru’s sentiments while addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club on Saturday night.
Rtd Col Mbudzi is a key member of the People First, (PF) a proposed political party that Mujuru is alleged to be leading.
“Amai Mujuru has always emphasised the issue of inclusivity in every meeting of People First. In fact, I laughed the day before yesterday (Friday) when she (Mujuru) commented on her expulsion from Zanu-PF. She likened herself to Jesus who just before he died promised a criminal crucified with him that he would prepare a place for him in paradise,” said Rtd Col Mbudzi.
He said Mujuru, in her comment, implied that all those who were expelled from Zanu-PF shouldn’t worry as a place had already been “prepared” for them in PF.
“PF is a place for everyone and that’s why our leader Amai Mujuru emphasises inclusiveness in our entire movement and organisation. We’ve members who left Zanu-PF, others from MDC-T, MKD and Zapu among other parties who’ve decided to liberate themselves by joining us,” Rtd Col Mbudzi claimed.
Three months ago, there were media reports that the ousted vice president was likely to join hands with the MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and form a coalition ahead of the 2018 elections.
When asked how PF intended to tackle the issue of reviving the economy and ending sanctions imposed on the country by the West, Rtd Col Mbudzi was evasive.
All he could say in response was to continuously blame President Robert Mugabe for “causing the sanctions” without justifying his assertion.
“President Mugabe is the only source of our suffering and sanctions. Zimbabweans, just like the Israelites who suffered under the hands of Pharaoh, have equally suffered enough and they need to be liberated from all forms of oppression and underdevelopment. Come 2018, it’s obvious that Zanu-PF won’t be able to cross the Rubicon,” Rtd Col Mbudzi said.
The former Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial secretary for information further claimed that most of the members of his party were drawn from the security sector whose strategies were tactical and difficult to detect.
Rtd Col Mbudzi also tried to use the names of revolutionary icons such as the late Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, Josiah Tongogara and Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo as launch pads to win the hearts of supporters for the party.
“We made a convenant with our founding fathers to liberate our country fully from oppression through the formation of PF whose leader Amai Mujuru’s principles resonate well with those of Joshua Nkomo, Tongogara and other fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives to liberate us from colonialism,” said Rtd Col Mbudzi.
PF, a proposed political outfit that has been in the pipeline following the expulsion of Mujuru and her cabal from Zanu-PF, is also clearly struggling to come up with a constitution, which is an impediment to its official launch.
“For now as a party, we’re not concerned about the launch but winning the hearts and minds of people. We can’t launch it before people are even aware of its existence at grassroots level. However, after the launch we will be visible and fight in every available space,” said Rtd Col Mbudzi.
He also admitted that the party lacked co-ordination in its structures and constitution.
“We can’t launch without a fully fledged constitution and some of our structures haven’t been established. It’s only until we’re satisfied that all processes have been done,” Rtd Col Mbudzi said.
Mujuru was in April expelled from Zanu-PF on a range of allegations including attempting to illegally remove President Mugabe from power, corruption, colluding with the party’s enemies and sowing divisions in the ruling party.
In September, she released a manifesto titled, Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (BUILD), which the ruling Zanu-PF scoffed at, describing it as a farce.
The manifesto outlined Mujuru’s vision premised on reversing gains made in empowering indigenous Zimbabweans. Among the proposals she made was to repeal the indigenisation policy, which has seen many indigenous Zimbabweans entering various sectors of the country’s mainstream economy.
She also proposed a new land reform programme that observers said would result in land being returned to white former commercial farmers at the expense of hundreds of thousands of black Zimbabweans that have become proud owners of arable land since its inception 15 years ago.