ZIMBABWE – HARARE – Former Vice President Joice Mujuru has no intention of meeting President Robert Mugabe and plans to form her own party that will battle it out with the post-congress Zanu PF in the 2018 general elections, it was announced yesterday.
Dismissing speculation that has been on the rumour mill that Mujuru had secretly met Mugabe, the spokesperson of the original Zanu PF (People First) Rugare Gumbo said that there has been a deliberate ploy by the country’s spies to sell the public a dummy and portray Mujuru as a sell-out who is longing to return to Zanu PF.
“We have been alerted that there are Zanu PF propagandists and security services personnel who have been assigned to fabricate and plant dubious stories in the local media to the effect that (Dr) Joice Mujuru is still Zanu PF and that she intends on re-joining the faction-riddled and internally-decaying political outfit,” Gumbo said in a statement.
Apparently rattled by the potent possibility of the former vice president forming her own party and taking her erstwhile comrades head-on in the 2018 polls, Zanu PF has publicly expressed its frustration particularly with the private media which it accuses of propping up the widowed Mujuru.
But Gumbo said there was a “well-orchestrated campaign” that sought “to inculcate a political perception that Mujuru is Zanu PF to the core and that her soon-to-be launched party, its policies, guiding principles and ideology are fundamentally Zanu PF.”
The former Zanu PF spokesperson said far from that, Mujuru is ready to work with democratic forces that respect civil liberties.
Gumbo said there is a ploy by the country’s well-oiled security sector to “plant fictitious stories in the local media hence the frantic efforts to have the media publish ‘details’ of a purported meeting between Mujuru and (Zanu PF President Robert) Mugabe.”
“We seek to set the record straight herein, that (Dr) Mujuru last met Mugabe on December 1, 2014, a day before Mugabe’s party held its congress and no other meeting between the two, or their representatives, has taken place subsequently.
“(Dr) Mujuru has no intentions to meet Mugabe or go back to Zanu PF as she is busy putting in place a strong political entity that will provide a platform for Zimbabweans, in our diversity and with the multiplicity of our skills, to turn around our economy, rehabilitate our service delivery system, restore hope to our long-suffering people and provide jobs and better livelihoods to the thousands of college and university graduates that the current government has condemned to perpetual poverty and destitution,” Gumbo said.
Recently, Mujuru launched an economic Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (Build) manifesto which caught the post-congress Zanu PF flat-footed and left many in that party rattled.
“We seek to reiterate that (Dr) Mujuru is at work, as she has been since leaving Zanu PF, putting in place a people’s movement that would restore dignity to the honest Zimbabwean industrialist, civil servant, farmer, small-to-medium entrepreneur, inter alia, who has been suffering under an investor-unfriendly economic environment characterised by policy inconsistency and a debilitating tax regime,” he said.
What has particularly rattled Mugabe and his post-congress Zanu PF over the past few days is the prospect of Mujuru and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreeing on an electoral pact that could see the two leaders joining forces to end Mugabe and Zanu PF’s long rule in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.
Gumbo added: “We reiterate that (Dr) Mujuru and all progressive Zimbabweans working with her will not be distracted from charting a trajectory that will return our country to economic prosperity through a people-centred political formation whose primary goal is to restore dignity to our people through providing mechanisms for economic sustainability rooted in an inclusive socio-economic and political system.
“No amount of lies, or infertile imaginations, is going to stop the people’s movement,” Gumbo said.