George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Embattled National People’s Party president Dr Joice Mujuru was yesterday left with an egg on her face after several chiefs and other traditional leaders in Gutu South refused to meet her ahead of her star rally today in the constituency. She is scheduled to address a rally at Maungwa business centre. Dr Mujuru wanted to meet chiefs and other traditional leaders to clear the ground for the rally.
According to WhatsApp messages circulated by Mr Jeffreyson Chitando, who is a member of the NPP national Information and Publicity Department, Dr Mujuru yesterday planned to meet traditional leaders in Gutu from morning till end of day.
“Be informed that Wednesday 10 May 2017 National People’s Party president Dr J Mujuru will meet opinion and traditional leaders in Gutu District from 09:30hrs to 17:30hrs,’’ read the message.
The message referred those interested to the party’s provincial chair Mr Oliver Chirume for further details.
Sources said most chiefs in the area refused to meet her.
This reportedly forced Dr Mujuru to embark on an ordinary “meet the people tour” in Gutu district.
While Chiefs Chiwara and Nerupiri of Gutu South were unreachable, the acting Chief Makore, Mr Jestia Muzenda, whose area also falls under the constituency, said there was no business meeting Dr Mujuru.
“I do not entertain politicians from opposition parties because I am personally Zanu-PF and it is my right to be that way and I do not have time to entertain opposition leaders like her,” said Chief Makore. “In fact, I spent the whole day today in Chartsworth, where I was paying school fees for my child.’’
Chief Mawere, Mr Pious Mawere, of Gutu South, said he was not aware of any planned meeting with Dr Mujuru.
“I have been receiving calls from the media in connection with the so-called meeting with Mai Mujuru, but I want to make it clear again that the only meetings that I attend are those called through the District Administrator’s Office, anything outside that is a big no for me,’’ he said.
Mr Chirume dismissed claims that the chiefs snubbed Dr Mujuru, saying the traditional leaders were never called for a meeting.
“Firstly, let me correct the assertion that Dr Mujuru wanted to meet chiefs from Gutu South only, she made prior arrangements to meet all the chiefs in Gutu district not Gutu South alone and that she managed to do since morning today (yesterday),’’ he said.
“We also never said Dr Mujuru was going to have one meeting with all the chiefs. She in-fact is visiting the chiefs at their homesteads and right now as I am speaking to you we are going to another chief’s homestead in Gutu.”
Mr Chirume failed to reveal the identity of a single chief visited by Dr Mujuru.
Dr Mujuru’s party is struggling to build vibrant structures across Masvingo province where Zanu-PF holds sway.