Hearken, Joice Mujuru speaks again!

Hearken, Joice Mujuru speaks again! Joice Mujuru
Joice Mujuru

Joice Mujuru

Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor

In her interview with VOA, Mujuru brags that all systems are in place as she has done the “best recruitment. . . from Beitbridge to Mukumbura; from the border with Botswana to border Mozambique (sic) and I think we have done that.”

Former Vice President Joice Mujuru is talking again. She was ditched from Zanu-PF in 2014 and she did not make as much as a whimper, despite being at the centre of a plot to unconstitutionally unseat President Mugabe.

It was a plot, we heard, that would even get nastier with the possibility of physical elimination, the Laurent Kabila way.

Mujuru commanded a whole legion of rebels from the provinces and other party structures, and the rebels were purged before and after her own expulsion from the party.

But she remained quiet: Not a fight for subalterns, so much so that it bred bitterness; and least for herself, as she seemed content staying at her farm in Beatrice.

She refused to entertain interviews from newspapers.

There are two fellows who would speak on her behalf.

Rugare Gumbo

Rugare Gumbo

They are Messrs Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa, who were also purged from Zanu-PF where they previously held powerful positions of spokesman and Secretary for Administration, respectively.

Sometimes you had a feeling that they were speaking for themselves, which is not to be discounted.

In fact, they had long begun to bore us with their ostentations.

The other time The Herald’s Political Editor asked Mujuru about her silence and whether Gumbo and Mutasa spoke on her behalf.

Didymus Mutasa

Didymus Mutasa

She refused to come out clean and declare openly her plans, nor to confirm whether Gumbo and Mutasa were her spokespersons.

But things are changing now.

Mujuru gave an interview to the pirate radio station Voice of America’s Studio7, which aired on Tuesday.

Perhaps that is not the first important thing.

The first is that she registered her party, the Zimbabwe People First Party with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission last Friday.

She says she should have done that mid last year but waited to convince herself that it was the “best thing”.

She talks about her expulsion from the ruling party and gives her assessment of what is obtaining now (though she says she wants to stay out of it).

And, the most instructive part of the audio recording:

“VOA: So we can safely say you are now leading this party; you are the interim president?

Mujuru: Yes, please!” (transcription mine).

The interview, according to the audio posted on the pirate radio station’s website, is just two minutes, 46 seconds long, but it would be useful to know why Mujuru has her confidence back — now.

To be blunt about it, Joice Mujuru has been emboldened by what is happening in Zanu-PF at the moment where palpable animosity is characterising two contending factions.

It does not take genius, or we do not think that it is a crime to mention, as is now public knowledge, that the contending factions are what are referred to as Team Lacoste and G40.

The fight between the two sides has been as public as they have been nasty.

There is a genuine and continuing fear among Zimbabweans that the ruling party is headed for a split and there are many ingredients in the mix.

The party’s wings and key constituents have been divided.

The youth are divided. The women are divided.

The main wing is divided — as are war veterans, a key ally of the ruling party.

What is worse are revelations that even the security arms of the country are divided among factional lines, and that there has been lobbying for positions and goading and promises by certain factional elements.

Not least, the media is divided with some editors, motivated by treachery, greed and tribalism, already packing their bags in anticipation of rewarding jobs elsewhere.

Morgan Tsvangirai

Morgan Tsvangirai

It is an incendiary situation and one that may take a small spark to devour the behemoth of the ruling party, and worse still, the State and nation as we have all grown up to know them.

While this sends tears biting the honest hearts of patriots, there are people waiting in the wings to pick the twigs of the fallen tree.

We are sure hostile governments have ordered more supplies of popcorn.

Who would not enjoy the drama?

In this vein, comes our Joice Mujuru.

She has long been considered to be the “moderate”, alternative leader of Zanu-PF, before she was booted out.

If she were to come to the party, the collapse of Zanu-PF would play into her hands.

She fancies, and is fancied, to have revolutionary credentials and experience of State.

What is also critical is that she has a sizeable support base and hangers-on, and it will be folly to gainsay it, although they can’t be quantified.

We have not been blind to her forays across the country as she canvassed support and set up interim structures.

In her interview with VOA, Mujuru brags that all systems are in place as she has done the “best recruitment. . . from Beitbridge to Mukumbura; from the border with Botswana to border Mozambique (sic) and I think we have done that.”

Very soon she will officially launch her party, and from the looks of things, it will not be something small.

One cannot be sure if the ruling party will not be taken by surprise.

Or perhaps, it won’t, since there have been whispers that some people have been talking to Mujuru and her band for factional or personal benefit.

The next few weeks will be interesting.

If not bloody.

The prayer on everyone’s lips is that there will be intervention by authorities to halt the worrying slide towards anarchy in the ruling party.

It would be such a sad day to see the disintegration of the ruling party leaving the country at the mercy of opportunists, at best, or sellout outfits fronting the interests of foreign governments.

And it has to be noted here and now that there is a seasoned campaigner by the name of Morgan Tsvangirai who, despite poor fortunes lately, has really not gone under, even when resources are thin.

He has been touring the country and has more or less maintained his support base, which to all intents and purposes, has been constant.

On a good day in 2018, with the prospective weakening of the ruling Zanu-PF, he may just be the dog that runs away with the bone.

He has done it before, albeit unconvincingly.

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