Zimbabwe’s liberation icon and former Vice President Joyce Mujuru is evidently entering into the fray and expecting to end Mugabe’s life-time presidency.
She has been exposed to the apparatus that sustained Mugabe’s 35 year rule so she is in the knowhow on how to confront the 91-year-old veteran Zimbabwe leader.
Mujuru, wife of the ‘assassinated’ army general recently announced her blueprint abbreviated BUILD that espouses the aspirations of many Zimbabweans, calling for a democratic order.
“We shall promote and support a free press. Repeal AIPPA [Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act], and review the licensing criteria and methodology under the Broadcasting Services Act and related legislation,” read part of her constitution.
This is a clear departure from the past where her former Zanu-PF party has been at the forefront of violating human freedoms.
Her former party has evidently been shaken by her move with some party’s surviving bigwigs weighing in on her move and manifesto.
Usual to his custom, Zanu-PF’s mouthpiece Jonathan Moyo wasted no time in attacking Joyce Mujuru’s blueprint labelling it shallow.
Moyo also sounded shaken by the prospect of Mujuru and firebrand opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's rumoured and anticipated coalition. This was much expressed in one of this tweets.
Unlike Zanu-PF, the mainstream opposition party, MDC-T that advocates the same values as expressed in Mujuru’s blueprint welcomed her entry into opposition politics saying her move was a vindication.
''As the MDC, we warmly welcome any Zimbabwean who joins us in the democratic struggle to peacefully and constitutionally remove the corrupt and illegitimate Zanu-PF regime from power,” said MDC-T’s national spokesperson Obert Gutu.
Joyce Mujuru formed People First together with liberation stalwarts like Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, and Ray Kaukonde among many others expelled from Zanu-PF.
“We are pleased to note that Joyce Mujuru and some liberation struggle stalwarts have seen the light and now appreciate what we have always been saying that Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF regime have betrayed values that drove thousands of Zimbabweans to wage armed struggle against racist colonial rule and subjugation.”
He added that these liberation struggle icons, apparently, seem to now realise that the country is in the present socio-economic hell hole largely because of misrule, corruption and mis-governance under the Zanu-PF regime fronted by Mugabe.
Political analyst from African Democratic Institute (ADI) Meluleki Mthembu said the move by Mujuru to form a party was good for democracy, “it means more choices for the citizenry”.
He however added that due to her previous affiliations [with Zanu PF] she will be treated with mistrust adding she needs to prove herself.
The mistrust was expressed in one exiled journalist’s response.
CAJ News Editor-in chief and exiled journalist Savious Kwinika questioned Mujuru’s political gesturing especially on media freedom. He views it as just another political grandstanding and posturing.
“Mujuru's comments on media are driven by the fact that she no longer enjoys media access or free positive coverage from the state owned media such as ZBC and Zimpapers,” he said.
“But on a positive note, if she had genuinely learnt a lesson that in any democratic country the nation becomes stronger due to both positive and negative criticism, then I give thumbs up to her vision on media.”
“She was part of the ZANU machinery; hope she is willing to pay the price-whatever it is- to be the villain hero. However, if the idea is to dislodge ZANU-PF opposition needs to stop launching parties and focus on formidable coalitions.”
Obert Hodzi, another analyst weighed in saying Mujuru did not resign but was fired.
“Had she still been in Zanu-PF would she have taken this move and differed with Mugabe?,” he questioned.
“My guess is definitely not; even after she was fired she continued to profess her allegiance to Mugabe and Zanu-PF.”
Hodzi believes Mujuru is looking for a new political home and lifeline.
“Her move is not confirmation that she has changed as alleged in the MDC-T statement yesterday, to the contrary this may be a case of a politician seeking a new lease of political life,” he said.
“What Zimbabwe need is not another opposition political party, but an amalgamation of the numerous weak political voices. As it looks Mujuru will be another political party further diminishing chance of a new political dispensation in Zimbabwe."
As Mujuru straddles to find her footing in opposition politics, human rights defenders are keeping pressure on Mugabe's administration on the continued absence of abducted rights activist Itai Dzamara.