Mujuru stirs hornet’s nest
Tendai Mugabe and Farirai Machivenyika—
EMBATTLED opposition leader Dr Joice Mujuru on Tuesday vindicated Zanu-PF’s decision to expel her after making sensational claims in London that she had been endorsed by Zimbabweans as President Mugabe’s successor. Ironically, Dr Mujuru — who was never subjected to any election to land either the Zanu-PF or Zimbabwe vice presidency — held both portfolios at the pleasure of President Mugabe who personally elevated her.
In a largely bumbling presentation at an event organised by the London School of Economics and the United Nations to mark International Women’s Day in London, Dr Mujuru all but admitted to leading a putschist cabal in Zanu-PF, claiming she had been endorsed as President Mugabe’s successor.
“When it became apparent that I was the clear successor to President Robert Mugabe, men seemed not ready for that, although the nation had fully endorsed my candidature.
“What is sad in most of these cases of persecution and abuse of women is that men find willing accomplices in some of our own fellow women. This was the case in Zimbabwe where those at the forefront of side-lining me were fellow women.”
Dr Mujuru’s claims were dismissed by Zanu-PF stalwarts and political analysts as a figment of her fertile imagination.
The embattled National People’s Party leader, they said, was never popularly elected to any position, as she was a mere beneficiary of President Mugabe’s benevolence and Zanu-PF’s 2004 constitutional amendments.
Dr Mujuru was expelled from Zanu-PF in 2014 together with a coterie of hangers on, on account of gross incompetence and plotting to unseat President Mugabe.
Said Zanu-PF Politburo member Dr Joram Gumbo: “In Zanu-PF, the President can appoint people from elected Central Committee members to lead various departments in the Politburo.
“When it comes to substantive positions like the President and First Secretary, President Mugabe is on record saying that Zanu-PF cannot appoint a person through hand-picking. There is no truth in what she is saying because all leaders are elected.”
Zanu-PF Youth League secretary Cde Kudzanai Chipanga said: “As far as we are concerned as Zanu-PF, we don’t have a position called successor and to succeed who in the first place?.
“We have a President and his deputies and we don’t have a position of that nature (successor). What she is confirming is that she was operating outside the party’s guidelines. As the Youth League, I think we took long to sack her. We should have sacked this successionist bastard in 2004 for trying to defeat the party’s electoral processes.”
Zimbabwe People First founder and former Dr Mujuru’s close ally Mr Rugare Gumbo said: ‘’Peopel do dream. I don’t know what she is talking about.”
War veteran leader and Manicaland provincial Minister of State Cde Mandi Chimene said: “There is nothing like natural and clear successor in Zanu-PF. All leaders come from the people and even President Mugabe came from the people. If she thinks it was natural as she wants people to believe, why was she canvassing people to be aligned to her?
“I think she also mistook herself to be the biblical Daniel who was thrown in a den of lions or Jonah who was swallowed by the fish and only to be saved by God. Tell her that the fish that swallowed her is now digesting her instead of taking her to Nineveh.
“She is day dreaming and I shudder to think what was going to happen if she was to become President when she is now warming up to the country’s enemies like this.”
Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association chairperson Cde Pupurai Togarepi said there was no way Dr Mujuru would have been a choice to succeed President Mugabe.
“According to our observation, Mujuru was a natural failure,” he said. “It was not going to be natural or apparent for her to be President Mugabe’s heir without following the systems of the party.
“If you want to be a leader, be prepared to be led and be loyal to your leader. She can accuse everyone of frustrating her dreams, but I don’t know what she has done to think that she was a natural successor.”