'Mujuru can slay Zanu PF in 2018'

HARARE - Analysts say the only way Zimbabwe could get out of its current political and socio-economic mess would be if the opposition formed a coalition ahead of the 2018 national elections, possibly with former Vice President Joice Mujuru as their presidential candidate, to take on the ruling Zanu PF which has been weakened by its deadly infighting.

Even high-ranking members of the mainstream MDC who spoke to the Daily News yesterday warmed up to the idea of a coalition, although many of them still thought their leader, former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, had the best chance to give either President Robert Mugabe or whoever would lead Zanu PF then a run for their money.

“As you know, President Tsvangirai has repeatedly spoken about the MDC big tent, so there is already appreciation within the movement (MDC) that a coalition of whatever nature is the way to go in 2018. It is also certainly better to be smeared with Gamatox, because it can be washed off than go solo and lose,” a senior MDC official said.

However, even as many observers are rooting for Mujuru to lead the mooted opposition coalition, the popular widow of the late liberation war icon, General Solomon Mujuru — who has been linked with a splinter Zanu PF formation that uses the slogan “People First” — has remained mum about her political motives since being brutally purged both from Mugabe’s party and government on untested allegations of plotting to oust and kill the nonagenarian.

But analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said virtually all social, economic and political constituencies outside Zanu PF were agreed that Mugabe and his party were undeniably behind Zimbabwe’s myriad crises, and that, therefore, it was important that opposition parties combined their efforts to remove them from power.

They also said that they had little doubt that a coalition of opposition forces would in itself give the country’s comatose economy the necessary boost it needed, as witnessed during the five-year Government of National Unity between Zanu PF and the MDC.

Political analyst Takura Zhangazha said the framework of the coalition did not need to be a singular party, and could be an electoral coalition.

“The big issues will be about who heads such a coalition in tandem with being the actual presidential candidate. The only challenge is that it might become a sharing of spoils before they become a reality,” Zhangazha said.

Another analyst, Jealous Mawarire, said the coalition should be centred around both Mujuru and Tsvangirai as the rest of the opposition leaders did not have a significant social base.

He said such a coalition would bring about the necessary changes that were desperately needed to turn Zimbabwe’s fallen fortunes around,

However, Mawarire called for “a sea change in attitude” for such an electoral pact to succeed.

“Tsvangirai has a chance of resurrecting his political fortunes if he joins Mujuru. They must lead separate parties and join for the purposes of contesting the 2018 presidential election. They can field different MPs and then look at the candidate with the competitive advantage for the presidential candidate.

“Mujuru will be coming in as a first timer and she will also be coming in as the first female presidential candidate who has inside information on Zanu PF. That is something that is saleable to the electorate,” Mawarire said.

The Centre for Elections and Democracy in Southern Africa (CEDSA) said Tsvangirai had the competitive advantage over Mujuru in terms of a substantial social base.

The opposition leader, who controversially lost the presidential election to Mugabe in July 2013, managed to poll at least a million votes, which is about a fifth of the five million registered voters in Zimbabwe.

Mujuru, on the other end, enjoyed considerable support from disaffected Zanu PF members who included nine axed provincial chairpersons and more than 100 Zanu PF MPs — although most of them were not willing to come out in the open and declare their support for her. All these command a huge following.

But other analysts said in view of her long association with Zanu PF, whose policies Mawarire described as consisting of “outright theft of resources,” the electorate may not be willing to put their future in her hands.

But Mawarire disagreed, saying the liberation struggle heroine was “a viable candidate”.

“She will appeal to both in Zanu PF and in the MDC because she is considered to be a moderate and is not associated with the politics of vindictiveness,” he said

However, McDonald Lewanika, of the pro-democracy Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said it was unlikely that Tsvangirai would allow Mujuru to lead a coalition.

“Tsvangirai has an established support base, which can be calculated using perception surveys and more importantly previous performances in elections. Mujuru’s support is perceived and a matter of conjecture.

“Whether Morgan Tsvangirai can allow Mujuru to lead a coalition depends on when this question is posed and the type of coalition at play. Is it a pre-electoral or electoral pact or coalition or is it a run-off based electoral pact or coalition?

“If it is before an electoral contest, I doubt Tsvangirai would yield, but if it is post an electoral contest which is indecisive and Mujuru either leads or doesn’t lead but is part of a set of three of four candidates who need to put their support together to defeat Zanu PF, perhaps then the possibilities of Tsvangirai yielding become higher,” Lewanika said.

He added that Mujuru was still a significant political force with a lot of social capital in Zanu PF, Zimbabwe generally and internationally, although a lot would depend on how she decided to use this capital.

“Mujuru is a beautiful political prospect who can choose to say ‘I do not need a man to succeed politically in 2018’. She stands a fair chance of doing well for a first timer. But politics is not easy and familiarity and even popularity sometimes does not translate to votes, let alone State power.

“Her chances of significantly changing the political course of our country will depend on the amount of work that she puts in, the extent to which she organises, the timing of her availability to contest and her ability to convince those in the ruling party and those in opposition that she occupies the middle ground where the majority of the country is on issues,” Lewanika said.

However, a senior Zanu PF official who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity said the coalition between Mujuru and Tsvangirai would never work because “the two have big egos” and for a coalition to work, there had to be one leader.

“Joice won’t go into a coalition with the MDC. People First is strictly Zanu PF and can go it alone. Remember they have nine provincial chairpersons and 110 MPs. It is a movement that does not need MDC. They might attract the MDC,” he said.

And Mawarire, while acknowledging Tsvangirai’s political capital on one hand, said he had the disadvantage of “a chequered history”. However, he added, he doubted that the MDC leader would have a problem being Mujuru’s deputy.

“There is no problem with making Tsvangirai vice president because it would be an elevation for him.

“He has been prime minister before but to say Mujuru should be vice president again would not be appealing for her as she has held the position before.

Comments (24)

Just a plot to encourage Mujuru to form a party to make the political landscape more scenic. It's purely for entertainment value.

Spika - 29 May 2015

I hope you are not paying these so called analysts for this drivel they give you. Mujuru cant win a free and fair election nor can Mnangagwa or any of the zanu mafia.

Lt General - 29 May 2015

this publication is now nauseating with its Mujuru/Mutasa drivel. this woman,s popularity is overrated. she cant stand and win a free and fair election against Morgan. it is a well known fact that Morgan has never lost an election to Mugabe and will not lose to any other candidate. that corrupt and heartless woman was at the centre of this rot and is complicity in the murder and torture of innocent souls for having divergent views. now that is off the feeding trough she wants to present herself as a saint of some sort. hers is not a damascene moment but wants to hoodwink the people into believing that she is a changed person. if you believe those obscene figures that were said to be her votes in previous elections,votes which exceeded the total district population,then you must be imbecile. she is as bloodied and all zanu pf thugs. to hell with the fake plane downer!

chitova - 29 May 2015

Jealous Mawarire, do I know this person from somewhere. Oh!!!!!! that man.

jackovick - 29 May 2015

We are sick and tired of these so called analysts!! Who is going to vote for Joyce after she has been on the gravy train for donkey years. I will never ever vote for her. I would rather vote for baba Robert Mugabe if MT decides not to participate in the next election.

Garikayi - 29 May 2015

Mai Mujuru is not as popular as these analysts are portraying, these guys are going to be shocked to find out that she may not even head the zanu people first, for me it looks like without zanu (mugabe) she is a fish out of water. All this noise about mujuru is going to end soon. Tsvangirayi is the most popular leader amongst them all (Mugabe) included. Whether anyone likes it or not Tsvangirai is the man, Mugabe knows that himself. This mujuru lady is a coward, remember pakafa Solomon she was actually covering up when people voiced their suspicions. Without zanu pf joyce mujuru is absolutely nothing ndikuudzei imi ma so called political analysts.

redemption - 29 May 2015

I think we are losing our focus Zimbabweans. Our aim is to rebuild the nation after Mugabe is gone. There we should look at the best candidate to do that. Mujuru was in the same ZANU for years and worse occupying a senior position, why should. Why should we even think of her as a potential president to rebuild Zimbabwe. She failed us together with Mugabe so if our focus is to rebuild Zimbabwe, then she is a failure. If our focus is to remove Mugabe only, may yes.

Ziziharinanyanga - 29 May 2015

I do not know why you call some common people some menemene and cio like Jealous political analysts . You are making political analysing very cheap and mangamanga . Suwa who in his right skop can talk of Mujuru as toppling Mugabe in 2018 when she does not have a political party ,How Morgan can form an alliance with someone on the street with not political party and at last lets that person to lead the join venture ? Only a lunatic can have such wishes . It is well known by those who are fairly clever that Mujuru is just killing time and waiting for dust to settle and she will join zanu again . Please daily news do not paint Mujuru as popular a tag that does not befit her . The woman is evil some of us never forget easily like pikinis or gundwanezi we are still fuming at this woman bcoz she nearly blocked econet from existing in this country , she insulted the father of this nation , she only rose to fame bcoz she repeatedly had sex with Solomon during war while other female soldiers were posted to the war front to face the barrel of the FN assault refile . We want a president who is clean who has nothing to with umdidi to gain political fame . As of Jealous we are very very angry as a nation bcoz you, Mugabe and Sidlabusuku did to this country by forcing the nation to go to elections which zanu had stolen already and now everything is collapsing economically bcoz of you . Morgan never need a political join venture bcoz he has millions of voters following him while Mujuru has no political party and will never have one in her life time please leave her alone to enjoy her loot .

Diibulaanyika - 29 May 2015

Amai Mujuru is as good for our political future as a rotten egg is in making an omlette.She was at the root of the woes of the people's impoverisation.She is a great liberation heroine but a failed national leader. Please Tsvangirai no supping with the devil.

abri - 29 May 2015

Mujuru? I just don't think so. And I don't want to waste my time on her

Pipinyana - 29 May 2015

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wonder - 30 May 2015

I totally agree that the above article is just intertainment for us. Very few coalitions have worked in African politics. Its common knowledge that African politicians are not keen on serving their people. They are terribly selfish. They will always fight and the winner takes it all! Lets forget about a grande coalition. Analysts seem to be out of touch with our reality. These Political parties are fragmenting on daily basis. They say they have wide ideological differences. So lets enjoy the analysis of our good political analysts. But Kudziya mushana chaiko!!

Zainol Zico - 30 May 2015

The idea of Joiyce Mujuru as presidential candidate for the coalition will work only under certain possible circumstances, in my opinion the following would be proposed 1. Accepting the appointment and then be a leader of the coalition with the support of war veterans and the military people less pro ZANU PF. 2. No other opposition and or independent candidate so that ZANU PF under Mugabe/Mnangagwa have no chance to go for a run off, results announced within constitutional limit or Coalition claims victor. During elections results from each polling station is announce.

ananian - 30 May 2015

Mai Mujuru is part and parcel of rotten Zanu pf thugs , she doesn't have any followers , even the People First project is for the media , Zimbos we don't need any leader or president of the future Zimbabwe to come from Zanu pf or ex zanu pf , they are all failures , how can Mujuru be a good leader while people were dying while she had some areas named mai Mujuru in Chiyadzwa in the 90s , these analyst i once said it , their analysis comes from what they read in the media , they don't do ground surveys like us , we go kumusha and talk to people hearing their views . Zimbabwean analysts are becoming cheap , because they cannot see the difference between Tsvangirai and Mujuru . I think Mujuru , Mugabe and their team knows that Tsvangirai won the elections but because they are cowards they didn't accept the results . What does that mean if you say you can not rule because of a pen and paper , this country comes through the barrel of the gun . Its a clearer answer that someone won the elections by votes . Mujuru , Tsvangirai coalition no , it doesn't work . Tsvangirai was voted by the electorate and Mujuru was appointed by Mugabe so a big NO NO . Analyst research before you write otherwise you are showing a bad picture on your analysis or you are biased , you must say it as it is , like the daily news motto

Mudhara - 30 May 2015

Jealous who? What is in it for Jealous Mawarire? That is where the story is.

Chenai Chipikiri - 30 May 2015

I am impressed by the comments of a majority of you guys. Your analysis is razor sharp and shows that you now know zim politics more than these either paid or arm- chair analysts. Mujuru remains Zanu pf by her own confession. Zimbabwe needs someone completely new and at the moment the brand name i MORGAN. Lets have him for a term then then like Mandela he will rest and hand over to someone. lets make our own leader this time around

ZIMNIGGER - 30 May 2015

Who in his right senses would take Morgan seriously? How different is he from Mugabe? Ngeza ntabanye; outside chance he gets into power it will be a mission to extricate him. For Mujuru, libalani, she is the co-engineer of all this mess

Jamengweni Godonga - 30 May 2015

Joice Mujuru is spoilt goods who is Totally Unfit to lead Zimbabwe. She has shown her typical Zanu pf DNA / Culture many times over in her “career”. [ The ZANU PF “Culture” embodies the following 'attributes': -- Lying, stealing, abuse of office, gross arrogance, impunity, self-aggrandizement, patronage, nepotism, denialism and stunted mental development ].

Sydney Mufamadi - 31 May 2015

as students vachiri kuchikoro all we want is someone who can engage with the outside world not create an illusion that zim can look just east and we are on track we do need the east and mujuru could do that but she cannot win on realistic grounds in 2018

knowledge machenjedze - 31 May 2015

95% of these comments seem to have come from CIO Headquarters. Shuwa!

Nyimo - 31 May 2015

SHUWA NYIMO - You are a certifiable IDIOT. You must be a "well educated" Zanu pf heroic patriot.

Ian S Coon - 1 June 2015

These same political analysts cheered and applauded MDC along in 2013 elections ignoring the fact that not even one democratic reform had been implemented and MDC lost that election. They are doing the same thing again. The key to ending Zimbabwe's political and economic mess is implementing all the democratic reforms.

Wilbert Mukori - 1 June 2015

mdc , you specialise in supporting rebels . Who do you support among the rebels or are you going to try to make them form one party ? Remember once a rebel always a rebel .

Hayibo ! - 2 June 2015

Zimbabweans you continue amazing me with confused logic.You think Mujuru is better than Tsvangirai on what basis ? Tsvangirai defeated both President Mugabe and Mujuru and you want us to believe that Mujuru can beat the MDCT Leader.No wonder we are in this mess. What has Mujuru to offer who has worked his entire life for Zanu PF. Are we short of Presidential material ? Mai Mujuru should just rest . She has failed us and was an key accomplice in our struggles for democracy.Hate him o rlove him, Tsvangirai is the man. His tainted past is nothing than exxegerated propaganda by a state press controlled by ZANU PF. See what the same press did to Mai Mujuru who was one of their own. You cant see all this ? God should just help Zimbabweans. Vanokanganwa zvazuro nehope. They really deserve what they are experiencing.

Tari Mavetera - 5 June 2015

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