(Last Updated on February 29, 2016 by Editor)
ZIMBABWE – Former VP Joice Mujuru who recently launched her Zimbabwe People First party has hit the ground running, wooing dozens of war veterans to her side.
Dozens of war veterans chose to ignore President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash which was held in Masvingo on Saturday to meet Mujuru at a Harare lodge.
This comes after Mujuru last week told the British Sunday Times newspaper that she initially didn’t have plans to continue in politics but was persuaded by people who wanted her to lead them.
According to ZPF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, Mujuru will be addressing her first press conference as opposition leader anytime soon.
Gumbo said among the war veterans who met Mujuru were former senior government bureacrats and diplomats who were now disgruntled with President Robert Mugabe’s rule.
A fortnight ago, government unleashed the police on war veterans during a planned demonstration in Harare. Many war veterans were beaten and tear gassed in a chaotic development which forced Mugabe to take to the national television to call for calm.
During the Saturday meeting, sources said, Mujuru advised the war veterans to remain disciplined and avoid being used by the Zanu PF elites to wage war against each other.
A month ago, Mujuru met with various grassroots activists from around the country in Harare during which she explained her party’s vision and answered questions from participating members.
A picture taken after the meeting showed Mujuru with the activists and her colleagues who included former intelligence minister, Didymus Mutasa, and Gumbo.
On Saturday, Mugabe claimed that Mujuru’s outfit was doomed to fail as it would disintegrate down the line.
You will hear People First, People Second, People Third, and People Fourth. Zanu PF will remain Zanu PF, very strong, no change, Mugabe told his supporters in Masvingo.
But Gumbo dismissed Mugabe’s claims as daydreaming.
Mujuru, Gumbo and Mutasa are amongst the many liberation struggle stalwarts who were expelled from Zanu PF towards and after the 2014 ruling party congress for allegedly plotting Mugabe’s ouster.
The former VP and her allies have repeatedly denied the claims for which they have never been arrested. On Saturday, during the meeting with the war veterans who included Ambassador John Shumba Mvundura and Ambassador Agrippa Mutambara, Mujuru maintained her innocence.