ZIMBABWE – HARARE – Analysts have hailed former vice president Joice Mujuru’s Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage Development (Build) manifesto as a pro-poor policy document that may provide answers to the many socio-economic challenges that the country is facing.
Mining activist Farai Maguwu said Mujuru is standing where MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was in 1999 with millions of disgruntled voters (both from Zanu PF and the opposition) at her disposal.
“The unfortunate death of her husband and the unfair treatment she received from Mugabe and his wife are sufficient enough to give Joice a sympathy vote, come 2018.
“However, the major question Zimbabweans home and away will want clarified is how the Mujuru outfit is different from Zanu PF.”
Mujuru’s husband Solomon, whose nom de guerre was Rex Nhongo, died in an inferno in 2011 and his family, says he was murdered by his political opponents.
Maguwu said excerpts from Mujuru’s economic revival blueprint show the document was well thought-out and now she must touch base with the grassroots and also shake off the dreaded State secret police who will obviously put her under the radar.
“Does she have a strategy to deal with Zanu PF violence and electoral fraud, which has been Morgan’s Achilles heel?”
On his part Tsvangirai says he will not take part in any future elections before the requisite electoral reforms are implemented.
And Maguwu said the former vice president should seriously consider working with Tsvangirai with whom she bonded well during the government of national unity era between 2009 and 2013.
“Mujuru working with Morgan will certainly strengthen her chances, but will Morgan lay down his personal ambition of becoming president and submit to Joice?”
Political commentator McDonald Lewanika said it is well and good that Mujuru has come out with a plan, as it will allow people to appreciate her ideas.
“This is just step one, in this year of ‘lessons’ blueprints with nice sounding acronyms are a dime to a dozen, the real test for Mujuru and People First will be whether they are able to develop a movement on the ground that believes in their ideas enough to risk life and limb in a fight against a Mugabe, whose brutality when dealing with opponents is not a matter for conjecture as Mujuru herself can attest.”
Lewanika said the country’s political contests are not just won on good ideas; they are won also on political organisation and the ability of the opposition to not just expose but counter Zanu PF’s electoral chicanery.
“At this stage, I think talk of mergers is premature, the Mujuru team has to build a real base on the ground, which becomes the basis on which they engage and or merge with others — so far we have Mujuru, a decent manifesto and a few henchmen, who, granted, are talented rubble rousers but whose ability to build a formidable political movement is yet to be tested at a national level.”
Some of Mujuru’s allies include former State security minister Didymus Mutasa, war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda and former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo.
And Lewanika admitted that the “best chances of defeating Zanu PF will be as a united front, but let this be a united front of political forces with supporters on the ground not just leaders who may or may not have followers”.
Misa-Zimbabwe director Nhlanhla Ngwenya said Mujuru’s recognition of the need to liberate and democratise the media space as spelt in BUILD is encouraging.
“I hope that this is not only an attempt to placate the media but an expression of serious intent in addressing what has been corroding Zimbabweans’ right to freedom of expression and access to information as well as plaguing the media sector.
“We therefore await detailed policy positions on these matters, which we will juxtapose against all parties documents to see who, of all political actors, best cherishes freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom,” said Ngwenya.
Centre for Communinty Develop in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) director Phillip Pasirayi said BUILD was pro-poor. “Cluster 5 titled ‘Social’ is all about addressing the all-important livelihoods question and making sure that the majority poor have access to basic social services such as food, water and healthcare.
“Instead of empty slogans and the rhetoric of sovereignty that we have been fed all these years by Zanu PF we now need a new politics that is policy, developmental and programmatic based,” said Pasirayi.
He urged Mujuru and Tsvangirai to find common ground and form a coalition.
“They should agree on a formula to work together for purposes of dismantling the Zanu PF hegemony. They both have grassroots support and in addition Mujuru has struggle credentials and a track record of public service.”
Former MDC legislator Elliot Pfembve said all evidence is pointing to a coalition between Tsvangirai and Mujuru.
“I will be very surprised if it will not be the case from what I now know.” – Daily News