Mujuru 2018 campaign intensifies


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ZIMBABWE – Zanu PF outcasts are crafting strategies to sell Joice Mujuru as the ideal candidate to challenge President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 elections with messages revolving around her chances to be Zimbabwe’s first female leader with liberation war credentials. 

The former vice-president was fired from Zanu PF last year for allegedly plotting to topple the 91-year-old Mugabe.

Several Cabinet ministers and Zanu PF chairpersons were also fired for sympathising with her.

Some of the disgruntled former members of Mugabe’s inner circle such as Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa are now pushing for a political party known as People First (PF), which they hope Mujuru will lead to the 2018 polls.

A new outfit fronted by former Zanu PF MP and war veteran, Magaret Dongo, known as Movement for People First has crafted a document to sell Mujuru to the electorate. The 45-page document seen by The Standard is titled, Commitment to Zimbabwe — Draft People First Manifesto.

In the preface, Dongo says Mujuru and Gumbo have been emphasising both in private and media circles the need to “uplift the younger generation into leadership positions.”

Dongo claims the document is a follow-up to Mujuru’s Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (Build) that was described by analysts as an election manifesto.

She said her movement was established to lobby for Mujuru and People First.

Dongo said they believed a female president would rescue Zimbabwe from decades of misrule.

“In this vein, we also call for a paradigm shift in the nature of Zimbabwe’s politics so as to serve and resuscitate the economy and the social fabric faster.

“Women by nature are not violent, neither are they easily corruptible and we know children always follow and want to protect their mothers,” said Dongo, who signed off as Movement for People First national chairperson.

“In fact, women do not steal by nature and where they have been accused, it is mostly situations like taking a few vegetables from a neighbour’s garden in order to feed starving children at home.”

“Men can steal five bulls just for boozing and marrying two or more wives if not just for entertaining their small houses and without any remorse”.

Mujuru is one of the most prominent female ex-combatants that have made it into Mugabe’s Cabinet since independence.

However, following her sacking her liberation war record came under scrutiny with Zanu PF apparatchiks questioning claims that she downed a Rhodesian helicopter.

The Movement for People First says Zimbabwe’s problems are rooted in corruption and again believes women can cure the cancer.

Dongo gave an example of the police force where allegations of corruption abound as an institution that requires transformation and in particular female leadership.

“At PF we are saying we need to restore Zimbabwe to its glory and this would be sooner achieved through elevating women into levers of power,” the former Sunningdale MP said.

“If the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) was to be led by ladies as officers-in-charge at all police stations throughout the country crime and corruption would disappear. How many men today do not dread passing through a traffic road-block at which lady officers are present.”

First Lady Grace Mugabe during the vicious and loud campaign to get Mujuru kicked out of Zanu PF as factional temperatures reached fever pitch last year accused the former VP of coercion, corruption and extortion earning the moniker “Dr 10%” in ruling party circles.

Mujuru has challenged her accusers to prove their allegations and none has stood up to the challenge.

Dongo blamed the country’s ills on corruption that she said was being perpetrated mainly my male politicians.

“Today, on levers of power are men with multiple farms, men who looted the Reserve Bank [of Zimbabwe] agricultural inputs . . . men who have corruptly acquired anything in their paths, tractors, scotch-carts, pencils and exercise books,” the document reads.

Mujuru has not stated her intentions to contest the polls but the publication of Build and her rejection of a government pension has led to speculation that she would challenge the man he once called her father.

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