ZIMBABWE – Until last year, the 60-years old ws seen as Mugabe’s likely succesor. His one time protégé, she even referred to herself as his ‘daughter’.
But she was sacked as vice pesident and expelled from ruling party Zanu PF after first day, Grace Mugabe, accused her of plotting toassasinate the president and stage a coup.
Now, she’s reportedly launching her own party, People First, to take on 91-year-old Mugabe.
He manifesto, which was released to Zimbabwean media, calles for a review of indigenisation’ legislation that has blocked foreign investment for the last decade.
“Mrs Mujuru will be the leader of the People First party,” said Rugare Gumbo, a former spokesman for Mugabe, who was also recently expelled from Zanu PF. “Just be patient, she will be there.”
It has also been suggested that Mugabe’s 49 old wife Grace intends to succeed him.
Robert Mugabe was once a father figure to Mrs Mujuru. He knew her in Mozambique after she left her peasant farming family in northern Zimbabwe to join the war against white Rhodesia. Mugabe appointed her to his first cabinet. She was his youngest minister in the early hopeful days of Zimbabwe, Africa’s newest independent country, which emerged in 1980 after a terrible war.
She married his top guerrilla, Solomon Mujuru, better known by his war-time name, Rex Nhongo. But in August 2011, Solomon – by then one of the country’s most senior politicians – died in a mysterious house fire on the farm he’d lived on since he grabbing it from a white farmer in 2003.
The general’s body was found near the front door, apparently overcome by the fumes. Many in the Mujuru camp believe he was assassinated.
Joice is mother to three of his children and remains motherly towards others he had with other women during their marriage.
It had been through her husband’s influence that she was appointed vice president of Zimbabwe in 2004, and many believed she would succeed Mugabe when he died or retired, as she had widespread support in most parts of the country.