from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – DISGRUNTLED former First Lady, Grace Mugabe, and members of a faction sacked from the ruling party are reportedly forming a party ahead of Zimbabwe’s watershed presidential elections due in August.
A pact with opposition leader and former Vice President, Joice Mujuru, has also been mentioned as a possibility after it emerged Mujuru recently had been contact with deposed leader Robert Mugabe.
However, Mujuru’s spokesperson, Gift Nyandoro, dismissed the allegations as “baseless” and “unfounded”.
“National People’s Party wishes to categorically dismiss the rumour that Dr Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru has entered into a political pact with the former first lady Mrs Grace Mugabe with the contempt it deserves.
“For one to try and twist facts that the meeting was about formation of a political pact only reflects kwashiorkor thinking of the highest order,” Nyandoro said.
However, the state media insisted it has authentic evidence suggesting Mujuru, Grace Mugabe and the Generation 40 (G40) faction were establishing a new opposition that received Mugabe’s blessings.
Mujuru met Mugabe last week at his mansion in Harare where it is said the former president apologised for sacking her from both government and the ruling ZANU (PF) in 2014 claiming he was misled by current President Emmerson Mnangagwa and former army general now Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
The rise of Mnangagwa to the presidency after the intervention of the military in last November led to a purge of party and government officials opposed to Mnangagwa’s ascension to the presidency.
The G40 favoured the first lady (Grace Mugabe) to succeed her husband.
According to documents disclosed by the state media, the initial plan was to have Mrs Mugabe lead the party before a coalition with Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP).
“The name Joice Mujuru came up as a compromise because Grace’s political activities are still fresh in the minds of the nation,” read a document.
The former First Lady embarked on a campaign to vilify Mujuru and Mnangagwa before Mugabe fired both as his deputies.
State media further reported the new opposition coalition party aimed to build its foundation on the legacy of the liberation struggle.
Mujuru’s husband Solomon was a former army general killed during a mysterious fire in 2011.
“They will try to push forward the names of national heroes, which is where Mujuru comes in, even as they try to put back on track what is largely a self-serving agenda to grab power at all costs,” state media reported.
Possibilities of the formation of a new party and prospects of a coalition have been strengthened by exiled former Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Jonathan Moyo, formerly a critic of Mujuru, of late portraying
Mujuru in good light on social media.
– CAJ News