HARARE - On a cloudy day, and after months of stoic silence, former Vice President Joice Mujuru yesterday emerged from her shell to announce to the media, diplomats, pastors, war veterans and hundreds of her cheering supporters that it was now game on against President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF.
In her own words, there had been “intense speculation from our detractors” and there was also “strong anticipation from our supporters” in the past 18 months — all of which had put immense pressure on her to expeditiously join the country’s democratic quest from the front.
Observers said yesterday that if the number of prominent people and other lesser known mortals who came to Meikles Hotel, the venue of her Press conference, was anything to go by, Mujuru and People First would be a force to reckon with in 2018.
As Mujuru made her grand entrance into the hotel, she was accompanied by her personal assistant and former Cabinet minister, Sylvester Nguni, as well as the party’s founding elders Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo.
So jubilant was the mood, that for some minutes, the room where the media event took place resembled a festive mini-rally.
Among the scores of her loyal followers who were in attendance were former Zanu PF politburo members Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Dzikamai Mavhaire, a number of former government ministers, ex-diplomats, war veterans, legislators and former members of the security forces.
Clad in a black suit with white laces, the widow of the late decorated liberation struggle icon, General Solomon Mujuru, was of course, the undisputed star of the show.
When she stepped onto the podium, she wasted no time and, in an impressive business-like manner, went straight into her address in which she promised her followers that she would do things differently from her former party.
And in what many among the gathered crowd described as a refreshing departure from Zimbabwe’s usual politics of acrimony and bile, Mujuru studiously refused to be drawn into discussing Mugabe, maintaining her promise to depart from “Zanu PF’s ways”.