2018 poll rumble: Mujuru Vs Mugabe

HARARE - With President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF having officially split into two bitterly opposed formations, it is becoming more and more likely that former Vice President Joice Mujuru will be among the stellar cast of candidates who will take the nonagenarian head on in the eagerly anticipated 2018 presidential elections.

Analysts and insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the recent splitting of the party into Zanu PF Mugabe and the “original” Zanu PF led by Mujuru, amid much acrimony and bloodletting, meant that the prospects of reconciling the two factions any time soon were “slim to non-existent”.

This, they said, meant that Mugabe was in all likelihood set to face Mujuru and indefatigable opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the crunch 2018 presidential poll if the nonagenarian sought re-election then as the country’s leader.

“The die is cast my brother and it’s too late to stop the Rumble in the Jungle that will be the election in 2018 between President Mugabe or his proxy Ngwena (Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa) and Mai Mujuru,” said a top Zanu PF official who requested anonymity.

“The third leg of this titanic battle will, of course, be Tsvangirai who as everyone knows beat Gushungo cleanly in the 2008 elections and will once again be running,” the official added.

Senior researcher for Southern Africa for Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga, said Mujuru had been a minister for 24 years and a vice president for 10 years, which meant that she had a significant following within Zanu PF and across Zimbabwe generally.

“Most of those fighting and opposing her in Zanu PF are mafikizolos (johnny-come-latelies) who have no support base in Zanu PF and who rely on smear campaigns, violence and the use of sections of the security forces to bulldoze and impose their will upon Zanu PF structures.

“If Amai Joice Mujuru is given a fair chance in the absence of persecution and harassment, then it can be said with fair certainty that she is a front runner in an open, democratic process.

“But opposition forces are better off coming together to form a grand coalition to push for democratic reforms ahead of 2018,” Mavhinga said.

Stephen Chan, professor of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said he was unsure at the moment that Tsvangirai would recover sufficiently to make a big impact in the 2018 elections.

“His own party has split and he has made no real dent as an opposition leader since the last elections. Any viable opposition will come from Mutasa and Mujuru, but there is a long road until 2018 and many deals and accommodations could be made.

“Even if not, Mugabe’s Zanu PF will command state machinery and the Double M Zanu PF (Mujuru and Mutasa) almost none. So the advantages of incumbency will remain. Also, what choice wil electors have between two nationalist parties of exactly the same origins and with very similar policies?” he said.

Piers Pigou, project director at the International Crisis Group, said: “If I was a betting man I would not put money on either (Mugabe and Mujuru). My sense is that Zanu PF might be in real trouble if a successor was not firmly in place. It (Mugabe extending his rule) is simply not feasible, apart from seeming to be a cruel imposition on a very old man!

“As for whether Mujuru would provide a real contest, much would depend on her resource base and ability to mobilise and maintain support between now and 2018, and what  capacity Zanu PF has to leverage off its continued incumbency, its ability to manipulate electoral processes to its advantage as we witnessed in 2013, and I suppose whether there would be a willingness to employ violence or intimidation tactics as it has done when faced with serious political competition in the past.”

Pigou said Mujuru’s entry into the race was likely to split the traditional Zanu PF vote, which would certainly be of assistance to the MDC formations. But the latter could “trip itself up again” if various formations, along with other opposition parties, didn’t find a common platform that would inspire the electorate to support them.

“So, I don’t think the die is cast at all, although it is evident from ongoing purges that the current leadership of Zanu PF is keen to continue the process of neutering real and perceived opponents from the Mujuru camp.

“At the end of the day, whilst this may consolidate the incumbents, it is unclear what this means in terms of the overall health and support for the party. By-elections will provide some indication, I suppose,” Pigou said.

He added that another critical determining factor for any election outcome would be the role that would be played by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, and whether the electoral body had a credible leadership.

Joy Mabenge, regional co-ordinator for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said there was an assumption that Mugabe would be available in 2018 and that he would still be within “the requisite capacities to contest and head the country at 94”.

“That assumption may be a fallacy given the fact that all forces of nature relating to him are now clearly pulling in the opposite direction. There is a real possibility that Mujuru may actually bounce back into Zanu Patriotic Front as its leader before 2018.

“However, if we go by the assumption that Mugabe will still be there and fit for purpose in 2018, then a Mujuru presidential candidacy as a head of a faction of Zanu will most likely be more of a gift to the MDC than it would be to Mugabe, assuming that die-hard MDC supporters and die-hard Zanu PF supporters remain (by numbers) constant and do not swing.

“History has taught us that splinter factions cannot and will not be able to easily create their own social base, but will instead want to tap, first and foremost, from the pond they are splitting from, before they try, with difficulty, to tap from other ponds.

“The reality is that the pool of voters is neither elastic nor expansive and therefore a split of votes is more likely,” Mabenge said.

Gladys Hlatywayo, a civil rights activist and political analyst, said it was difficult to give a prognosis because electoral outcomes in Zimbabwe had less to do with real support on the ground.

“Allegations of rigging and absence of a level playing field make it difficult to point with precision to the outcome of these processes.

“What is clear though is that Zanu PF is now in a serious quandary. The once homogeneous liberation movement is now reduced to a shadow of itself with news of expulsions and suspensions making headlines each day.

“This, coupled with an ageing leader, will be the Achilles heel of Zanu PF. The former vice president is a contender in the race although there is still no empirical evidence to prove her chances.

“Based on lived experiences of previous elections, it might be strategic for all voices against Zanu PF to coalesce and collaborate towards 2018.

“There is a real opportunity for change in 2018 but it depends on what opposition political parties choose to do between now and 2018 and I would argue that working together will be the game changer,” she said,

But George Shire, a UK-based Zimbabwean scholar, said Mujuru did not have “any hope in heaven, earth or hell to dislodge the Zanu PF machine within or outside of it”.

“Dwelling on their (Mujuru camp) fate and lost fortunes is a waste of time. As for Morgan Tsvangirai, he failed to build on 2008 and has failed to build a coalition to provide an effective opposition,” he said.

Comments (32)

to hell with george shire

gege - 24 April 2015

i agree.to hell with george shire

mascara - 24 April 2015

Mai Mujuru4 -1 Mugabe; game over. Mai Mujuru revai zvamaiita na Mugabe ; 2,pa Nikuv;2violents;3.....;4......i four goals idzodzo, Mugabe ;1hamadzako ;2hama dza Grace....i2 goals idzodzo

mutigori - 24 April 2015

Professor Chan i think you need to go back to school. You are not on the ground here . We the suffereing masses are on the ground and we know how we gona vote . We have been voting wisely before only for you to legitimise a stolen election. The opposition has always been winning . Comment on your elections in London.

Gambiza - 24 April 2015

Tsvangirai is selfish, he like Mugabe would like to cling to power at all costs. I wonder why he doesn't draw lessons from the DA in SA or all the democratic forces the world over. Surely, he has had ample opportunity to drum up support for the opposition party since 1999. He has failed to dislodge Zanu from power, clearly. To me, there is nothing new he stands inject into the MDC to prop up its support. He is simply clueless on how to appetise the electorate to vote the MDC again and present a formiddable contest against Bob and his thugs. MDC has committed political suicide by sticking with him for too long. I don't see how he'll be voted into power unless he extends an olive leaf to his erstwhile opposition enemies and forms a coalition. Alone, lingawa lidojwe zinkukhu! Mujuru, on the other hand, doesn't strike me as a potent rival to Bob's Zanu. She's not daring - too shy, too soft to withstand the ruthless vampire in Zimbabwe namely Zanu. She's got to put her act together, be seen to be there and ready to fight.

OkaSlwane - 24 April 2015

newspapers kunyepa especially nyaya dzepolitics. haa hameno

wind - 24 April 2015

Least we all be fooled - this is politics, if you love Zunu then Mugabe or Mai Mujuru is for you (it doesn't matter which PF), they are all the same. If you don't like the current regime, then neither Mugabe nor Mai Mujuru is for you - stick to MDC.

Open Eye - 24 April 2015

This Mujuru cabal has played the ZUNU PF game for a long time as key defenders and strikers. Imagine Mai Mujuru was minister at age 25 and after 10 years rose to Vice president. She was key to all the nefarious agendas of ZANU PF. All of a sudden she has people at heart. Think of it ... if she was not jilted at the behest of mafikizolo DisGrace where would she be today? What would she be saying. remember her speech on corruption issues (Cahbert and company) how she was quick to defend the party. I fell sorry for her for the way she has been treated but a sympathy vote for her is a betrayal of the cause of the ordinary Zimbabwean who has been subjected to the vagaries of ZANU PF's mismanagement of the economy over the past 35 years. Mujuru and company should just retire from politics and leak their wounds quietly.

Mhofu YeMukono - 24 April 2015

Having read all the comments of these party insides and analysts, I, sadly, come to the same conclusion... They are all morons Trying to reap where they did not saw. Journos, leave these knowledgeless barbarians alone and feed is what you pick from the people.

binya - 24 April 2015

I do not think Can knows anything about zimbabwean politics and must not be taken serious To say Morgan lost his mojo bcoz of rigged elections is being totally foolish and uninformed . Every one world over knows Morgan never lost the election in 2013 but Mugabe rigged so why does Can not know that . He must be a zhing zhong pro .As of Mujuru please never waste your time thinking she will contest the presidency but yes she will vote obvious for Mugabe . She has never said Mugabe is bad and must be removed we never heard her say so and that shows she has confidence in his leadership so please people stop putting words in her shut mouth and leave her alone .

Diibulaanyika - 24 April 2015

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blessing - 24 April 2015

Mujuru is still silence on this new ZANU PF people first. Why is this newspaper trying to mislead us. Mujuru is enjoying the full salary she was receiving as a vice president. Why would she jeopardize this life time benefit. She is unlike Musika & Rugare who have nothing to loose as they are no longer on government payroll

Mentalist - 24 April 2015

Professors are exposing themselves as emptiless and void on their claim of source of knowledge and making themselves specialists in gossip. Even if this was true would that still justify the claim of experts source claims.

John Gwizo - 24 April 2015

May the Lord blow the top off the 2002,2008 and 2013 elections. And may He raise up a man to lead this nation. We cannot wait for 2018. There will be nothing left!!! ZPF are thieves: plain and simple. They have stolen elections amongst giant looting of a nation. Thieves and liars will NOT inherit the kingdom of heaven! Repent!

Freedom4Zim - 25 April 2015

Why do the likes of Simba Makoni, Dabengwa, Chamatama,and other oppressors (former) think they can only serve the people as president of the country? We need men and women who can rise above party politics to fight for clean elections.Maybe Ibbo Mandaza should get off his intellectual high horse and give leadership in the fight for a level political playing field, the missing factor in our quest for fair transparent elections.

Abri - 25 April 2015

Whatever concerns mai Mujuru's come political come back is a waste of space and time. The woman is just a clueless dwarf.

reason - 27 April 2015

if the Daily news does not tell the truth, why are you here and why do u comment

Bla Kodza - 27 April 2015

Bla kodza not everything true commands a following. Look atbthe views , the lies the deceit, but people still go to watch them day in day out. See the novels most stories are just made up for entertainment because lies sell. We are reading this newspaper not because it is saintly but because it has denerated into a farce. Maybe it is because the mujurus own shares in the paper or something . I used to marvel their quality of reporting . Now !! Just moans and groans.

Rafael santos - 27 April 2015

Amai Mujuru, naMutasa vanhu ve ZANU PF, chizvarirwo nemakuriro, havan zvimwe zvitsva zvavanazvo kana zvavangaitira vana ve Zimbabwe. Itai politics dzenyu muvasiye parutivi vambodya zvavakamora vachiri mu ZANU PF.

Future Ramangwana - 28 April 2015

Let us come together and rescue the country from ZANU PF.

Future Ramangwana - 28 April 2015

You are all mistaken people in Zanu PF will vote for Mugabe and those who voted for Tsvangirai will do so Mujuru was just fired only from a system she presided over for long time and benefited her family and friends she contributed during Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina,2008 Political Violence and so on she did nothing to win people's votes Mugabe gave land ,led the struggle and because of oversight allowed other people to be super rich hence he still has a stronger support base ,Tsvangirai is seen as a symbol of hope economic progress and democracy although not many understand what democracy means.Finally only true contenders to politicall supremacy are Mugabe and Tsvangirai others are mere shadows maybe a new comer an unknown with courage and a new philosophy can offset the odds others should shut up like Mutambara.I will vote for Mugabe for personal reasons like many others .

Gwenyambira - 29 April 2015

All we need is to return home and get jobs and opportunities , see improved FDI,improved relations with the International Community,and we expect to have leaders who are accountable to the people not to other politicians and focus on economic development and not personal or family political interests like we do in other African countries and live in peace .Makoni,Tsvangirai,Mujuru et-al do not seek to change the system they are obsessed with removing Mugabe and be in Mugabe's position yet Mr Mugabe is only a human being at the helm of a political system that centralized power in one individual without proper checks and balances reinforced by a politicized security system , bootlickers and political opportunists like some infamous propaganda .Its not Mugabe who is a challenge its the political systems that needs to be overhauled its become dysfunctional serving interests of a few with catastrophic effects on the economy ,national unity ,development ,standards of living and so on.

Born Free - 30 April 2015

All we need is to return home and get jobs and opportunities , see improved FDI,improved relations with the International Community,and we expect to have leaders who are accountable to the people not to other politicians and focus on economic development and not personal or family political interests like we do in other African countries and live in peace .Makoni,Tsvangirai,Mujuru et-al do not seek to change the system they are obsessed with removing Mugabe and be in Mugabe's position yet Mr Mugabe is only a human being at the helm of a political system that centralized power in one individual without proper checks and balances reinforced by a politicized security system , bootlickers and political opportunists like some infamous propaganda .Its not Mugabe who is a challenge its the political systems that needs to be overhauled its become dysfunctional serving interests of a few with catastrophic effects on the economy ,national unity ,development ,standards of living and so on.

Born Free - 30 April 2015

All we need is to return home and get jobs and opportunities , see improved FDI,improved relations with the International Community,and we expect to have leaders who are accountable to the people not to other politicians and focus on economic development and not personal or family political interests like we do in other African countries and live in peace .Makoni,Tsvangirai,Mujuru et-al do not seek to change the system they are obsessed with removing Mugabe and be in Mugabe's position yet Mr Mugabe is only a human being at the helm of a political system that centralized power in one individual without proper checks and balances reinforced by a politicized security system , bootlickers and political opportunists like some infamous propaganda .Its not Mugabe who is a challenge its the political systems that needs to be overhauled its become dysfunctional serving interests of a few with catastrophic effects on the economy ,national unity ,development ,standards of living and so on.

Born Free - 30 April 2015

All we need is to return home and get jobs and opportunities , see improved FDI,improved relations with the International Community,and we expect to have leaders who are accountable to the people not to other politicians and focus on economic development and not personal or family political interests like we do in other African countries and live in peace .Makoni,Tsvangirai,Mujuru et-al do not seek to change the system they are obsessed with removing Mugabe and be in Mugabe's position yet Mr Mugabe is only a human being at the helm of a political system that centralized power in one individual without proper checks and balances reinforced by a politicized security system , bootlickers and political opportunists like some infamous propaganda .Its not Mugabe who is a challenge its the political systems that needs to be overhauled its become dysfunctional serving interests of a few with catastrophic effects on the economy ,national unity ,development ,standards of living and so on.

Born Free - 30 April 2015

politics ..politics...politics...we are tired of this guys...

wezhira - 6 May 2015

Haa all these political issues are nasty things as they were being said ever since we were born. As for Mujuru its better to say she has been ousted from the system yaakajaira for the past 35 years and even if elected as the new president today she will adopt the old ruling tactics that she used when she was in the Mugabe Zanu Pf remember ine muririro wayo haiuregi VanaTsvangirai takangokura vachihumana kutaura kani vakazoitei we tired of their nasty words and what is left for us to say is GO TO HELL

papajimmy - 9 May 2015

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