Tafara Shumba Correspondent
Former Vice-President Dr Joice Mujuru has eventually come out in the open and tossed her hat into the ring as the protagonist of the Zimbabwe People First party (ZPF). The declaration was made amid deafening silence from the usual suspects of regime change proponents and cheers and ululations, only heard in the newsrooms of the private media though. Quite interesting is that political parties and churches are growing at competing levels in Zimbabwe, a country that prides itself in upholding fundamental human rights and freedoms. Even three-man political parties, comprising its leader, spouse and child, are allowed to exist in Zimbabwe. And so are churches.
It is not much of an event that a new political party has been formed, for many have come and gone without causing the much anticipated dent on zanu-PF. Bigwigs have strayed before from zanu-PF’s straight and narrow and formed their political parties that eventually petered out before making any impact, much to the chagrin and visible great disappointment of followers. Could this be another great disappointment awaiting another lot of blind followers? It was George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a German philosopher of the early enlightenment who aptly said: “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” Some people will continue making mistakes until they fall into the grave with the corpses they are following.
The private media was awash with intimidating screamers such as “Come 2018, we will be ready: Mujuru” and many others which suggested that the major political game is now on. Dr Mujuru has not yet held a single rally, thus it’s too early to speculate on her command of support. Let the game start first.
Political spectators are waiting to watch the game, with some already writing the history of the glorious path to victory of this greenhorn party. Hopefully the game will measure up to their expectations as advertised by the media. But honestly, expecting a thrill from a Dynamos versus Mbare High School match will be expecting too much. A match that pits zanu-PF against ZPF is not fair and exciting by any standard. It would be more exciting if the MDCs in their fragmented forms are co-opted into the ZPF team. At least zanu-PF could face a modicum of challenge. But knowing the power hunger that stalks these parties, it is far-fetched to expect anything, with Tsvangirai having already written off any cooperation with Mujuru whereas Biti has in turn written off Morgan. It stands to be seen who is to write off Biti.
Mind you, for over a year, Dr Mujuru maintained the silence of a grave. She only broke the silence after studying the infighting within zanu-PF which she thought could be exploited to lure the disgruntled. Of course, ZPF will be a hotchpotch of disgruntled members from all political formations. It is to be seen if a coalition of the discontented elements will gel.
The disgruntlements emanated from different circumstances. Some were purged due to their unbridled ambition for power. Others were shown the exit for their corrupt activities. All these people with their varied experiences in nefarious activities, left to the vagaries of the political weather, will find shelter in the ZPF. As Shona elders observed, every bird has its peculiar sound and will never forsake it come rain or thunder. It will come a time when this incompatibly volatile muddle of characters will not co-exist in the ZPF. Then it will be time to have some ZPFs with surnames. The founders of the MDC can bear witness.
Back to the breaking of silence which Dr Mujuru did this week through an interview with the pirate radio station, the Voice of America’s Studio 7. The most intriguing part of the interview is when Dr Mujuru said her expulsion from zanu-PF and Government had made her understand the plight of Zimbabweans as she was now spending more time with them.
If she was not deliberately lying through her teeth, then she must not be trusted. Dr Mujuru had a rural constituency where poverty is abundant. Does that mean she never spent time with them? As a vice president, perhaps she had access to reports on the economic status of the country. She had all the opportunity to travel across the country to understand the plight of the people. With many responsibilities on his shoulders, still President Mugabe is not lost to the plight facing people even in Mukumbura.
If Dr Mujuru was blinded by opulence to an extent that she could not see anything beyond her nose, what guarantee is there that she will not be blind again if she is entrusted with the leadership of this country.
At 18, the young and poor Joice joined the liberation struggle after she became conscious of the plight of her kin under the colonial bondage of the British. She was one of the young fighters who, at independence, was rewarded with a ministerial post in Government. As a symbol of honour to the Zimbabwean women, she was elevated to the post of vice president. She also improved herself educationally until she attained a doctorate.
Dr Mujuru and her late husband used their post independence status to amass wealth, some of it through hook and crook. This is the affluence that blinded her from seeing the plight of the people around her.
After she tried to unconstitutionally elevate herself to the number one job in the land, she was thrown into the cold where she assumed the same status she had before she joined the war, an ordinary member of society. That status enabled her to see again. Today, Dr Mujuru can see again.
Dr Mujuru wants to be a leader again. The fear is that she will become blind again and fail to see the plight of her subjects. There is no guarantee that she will break that cycle. She needs to stay in the cold until the electorate is satisfied that she would not be blind to its challenges again.
If indeed Mujuru is the panacea to the country’s challenges, as touted by the private Press and other hangers-on, then the nation dares to look the gift horse in the mouth to expose its rotten teeth.