Mujuru takes on Tsvangirai

HARARE - In remarks that are likely to stoke tensions within opposition ranks, former Vice President Joice Mujuru has once again punted herself to lead the country’s envisaged grand coalition, at the same time seemingly questioning the suitability of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to front the mooted alliance.

This comes despite Mujuru — a former Zanu PF bigwig who now leads the fledgling National People’s Party (NPP) — having recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tsvangirai, as they signalled their intention of finalising talks for the mooted opposition alliance.

But the former long-serving number two to President Robert Mugabe once again threw the cat among the pigeons last week when she suggested that Tsvangirai did not fit the profile of the ideal leader to front the planned coalition.

“We want someone who can also unite and appeal to those who fought the war, those in the army, as well as and those in the farms.

“This is because some fear that if someone else becomes the leader they will lose their farms, or those in the army will be blamed for certain things, and those in the police will be blamed for certain things.

“And those people will be happy to hear that they have one of their own,” Mujuru said as she promoted her candidacy during a meeting with her supporters in Zvimba, Mashonaland West.

Analysts have previously said Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose late husband Solomon was the first black post-independence army commander, could provide the much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the smooth transfer of power if they win the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

Speaking in 2002, the late commander of the defence forces, Vitalis Gava Zvinavashe, infamously said the military would not salute anyone without liberation credentials, in apparent reference to Tsvangirai.

Yesterday, analysts told the Daily News that Mujuru’s statement last week was “a naked advertisement” that she wanted to lead the coalition — warning, however, that this could stoke tensions within opposition ranks.

“Such utterances seem designed to send the message that Tsvangirai, from her point of view, is unsuitable to lead the coalition.

“The characteristics she profiles appear tailored to reflect what she thinks she brings to the table. But they do not reflect the needs or priorities of significant other constituencies.

“The issues she raises are of course not unimportant and any coalition leadership should be able to address these issues.  But leadership is not simply about who sits on the throne,” Piers Pigou, a consultant with the International Crisis Group, said.

“It also certainly doesn’t bode well for the coalition ... and this highlights the importance of an innovative approach to the coalition building effort ... Mujuru is untested outside of Zanu PF and what we’ve seen so far is somewhat underwhelming,” Pigou added.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, also said it appeared as if it was going to be difficult for opposition parties to agree on a coalition leader, which would weaken the planned alliance.

“The coalition will likely happen but I don’t think it will be strong enough. They will get to it, but it will be a weak coalition unless if they can come up with an acceptable formula to choose the coalition leader.

“I think it will probably end up being a quarrelsome coalition,” Masunungure told the Daily News.

Other analysts said a positive attribute of Tsvangirai was that he had the strongest appeal and control over his core supporters, as witnessed at his weekend rally in Gweru, which was attended by tens of thousands of his followers.

“(Tsvangirai) is the best foot forward, no doubt about that. But he must be magnanimous, crafty, humble and inclusive in the manner in which he approaches the coalition talks,” said civic leader Gladys Hlatywayo.

“The situation requires astute leadership that is able to remain focused on the end-game and rise above petty differences of yesteryears. It equally requires dealing effectively with internal discontent and the divisive politics of positions,” she added.

Political observers have also previously said the opposition, if they contest next year’s elections as a united front, stand a good chance of finally bringing an end to both Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s long rule.

Optimism has been high within opposition circles ever since Tsvangirai and Mujuru joined forces and walked the streets of Gweru in August last year, in a rare public show of unity.

A large cross-section of Zimbabweans, including political analysts and civic groups, have also said Tsvangirai is the only opposition leader capable of giving Mugabe and the warring Zanu PF a run for their money in the make-or-break 2018 national elections.

Speaking to the Daily News in an interview early this year, former Cabinet minister and for long Mugabe’s confidante, Didymus Mutasa, said while there were many people who aspired to lead the planned grand alliance, only Tsvangirai had the support and “the credentials” to take that position — completely rubbishing in the process both the capacity and chances of Mujuru to lead the opposition.

This was after Mutasa and Mujuru’s highly-publicised fallout while they still worked together at the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) — a disaffection which eventually led Mujuru to forming the NPP.

Mutasa was effusive in his praise of Tsvangirai, making special mention of the way the MDC president had persevered against all odds in his push for a more democratic Zimbabwe, including taking on Mugabe and a Zanu PF that he said often behaved “thuggishly” when challenged.

“For me Tsvangirai is the natural leader of the coalition because of who he is ... What the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) is today stands for what Tsvangirai and the MDC built. The rest of us are latecomers in this game.

“We want a leader who will do what we thought Mugabe would do, but failed to do, and as ZPF we want to have discussions about who should lead the coalition because when we wanted to do it while we were still with Mujuru she prevaricated.

“As a party we cannot accept a situation where Mujuru leads the coalition having proved her lack of capacity with ZPF, although she is welcome to be part of the coalition because we need everyone,” Mutasa said without hiding his disdain for Mujuru.

Comments (27)

Mujuru's utterance must ignored forthwith, her war credentials mantra is irrelevant to the new Zimbabwe. Tsvangirari is the only game in town the real deal fullstop. Mujuru go back to Dotito and practise witchcraft.

Sinyo - 12 June 2017

U can only take a zanu member from zanu but u can't take zanu from that person.This is obvious that Mujuru is now showing her true colours.Her mission is to split the votes so that zanu will stay in power.I thought Mutasa was wrong that time he asked about mujuru being still protected by CIO.She is still a zanu candidate & I thing this is a strategy.Zanu knew that the opposition were planning to form a coalition then they acted like they are divided just to make confusion among opposition.Tsvangirai u need to do this on yr own.

Matsotsi - 12 June 2017

Zimbabweans Beware! HUNTERS WHO CLAIM PARTS YE NYAMA YE MHUKA even before the hunting begins should not be allowed to join the Hunting Party.

Sekuru Ndoronga - 12 June 2017

I think Mujuru seems to be troubled by fear of what will happen in case of Tsvangirai victory.seems as if she wants some guarantee regarding her safety and other active members of ZANU.I would urge opposition figures to embrace her and assure her that in a new democracy no one will be persecuted if they do not sway the peoples' voice

major zib - 12 June 2017

Major,,Mujuru knows that she will not be in any form of danger or threat from Tsvangirai.Tsvangirai announced several that he will not prosecute or punish anyone if he become the next president.This is about confusion.Truely speaking everyone in Zimbabwe knows that Tsvangirai is a man of peace.Mujuru is a sellout,,she is playing zanu dirty tricks&something must be done about it

Matsotsi - 12 June 2017

I could be wrong but the mood of a huge chunk of society wants retribution for all the past misdeeds. Those who killed (and still do), robbed and destroyed the lives of citizens who simply wanted to support a party without blood on its hands will have it big time. Not even Tsvangirai can quell the fury that's burning inside these people. The best they can do is apologize and quit politics than to scuttle a battle which is almost 80% complete. They must pay period. Why should we extend our suffering by voting unrepentant murderers as leaders. We're not mad. It's them vs the people they've had 37 years of opportunity, time up. The country's future can not be tethered to one person or political party as if we are mbudzi yekusungira - zvapera.

Sharia - 12 June 2017

Mai Mujuru should be happy that anyone is willing to work with her, so she should take her rightful place among others and sit quietly. For one we know she didn't leave Zanu, she was kicked out. She would still be part of the cabal at this point, we know. All the sanitizing that she's been doing around the world that spoke from within is hogwash, nobody believes her.

Zuze - 12 June 2017

President M.Tsvangirai & Prime Minister J.Mujuru...fullstop.

KING KING - 12 June 2017

If Joyce Mujuru is really in need of leading the grand coaliation she must demonstrate this through a primary elections in line with that which I think will not succeed in provinding that support. Alternatively she can also be given chance to contest on her own or with the political parties whoch believe in her leadership as she calls for. She must know that MDC-T can make it on their own to victory without her party. I think she is ill adviced or has some hidden agendas.

Pythias Makonese - 12 June 2017

Joyce Mujuru must support Morgan Tsvangirai as the coalition presidential candidate or she must leave the coalition.These expelled former Zanu pf members can't be trusted.

widzo - 12 June 2017

Mujuru remains a more capable leader than Tsvangirai who showed gross leadership incompence over the years of the opposition struggles under his leadership.Is only exploiting the naivity of some vocal opposition supporters who are not used to see with sharp eyes& clear brains.She started fighting for this country years be4 u knew n thing.Tsvangirai was also Zanu pf during his formative years at the ZCTU which was also formed at the intiation of zanu pf.Time of moving out of zanu pf does not matter.Both Tsvangirai & Mujuru were former members of zanu pf.We all know that itz ZCTU which Tsvangirai an opportunity to become a politician of which the ZCTU was a creation of zanu pf.Itz time to put competent leadership in place for the nation to go forward after all we are all Zimbabweans.N one can lead if only elected or nominated

addmore gudo - 12 June 2017

...which gave Tsvangirai an opportunity to become a politician....

addmore gudo - 12 June 2017

Mujuru and Tsvangirai need to just act like adults and come to an agreement because the more they spent their time fighting over petty stuff like who will lead the coalition, the more they give Mugabe the chance to actually gather support for the upcoming election. They are too many problems to worry about in Zimbabwe for them to be focusing on irrelevant things like who will be superior ,please we need serious leaders.

Drey - 12 June 2017

Hapana nguva isingasviki lets wait & see if this Tsvangirai will win the elections-but I bet he will remain the same story as he became over the years of his attempts-does not hv an appeal in the main section of the electorate

addmore gudo - 12 June 2017

If those in farms got their farms lawfully they have nothing to fear at all those in military if their are doing their duties without breaking law sure they have nothing to fear but if they did bad things and and someone says he or she will protect them then that person is not person to lead this country bcoz does not respect rule of law . On the other hand I Diibulaa said it many time here with Josphate that Mujuru is very dangerous and not right political partner especially as we approach 2018 she will make sure her father Mugabe who gave her scores of farms and diamond mines is never is defeated and she will put thorn branches on the way of those trying to do so . better stop interacting with her now . She is skelem to our change that we cherish so much .Morgan does not need any coalition to defeat Mugabe nada mani ..

Diibulaanyika - 12 June 2017

Panoda kungwarirwa apa, parikuratidza infiltration already. Who ever is advising mujuru has got a lot of questions to answer. Tsvangirai should also drop his ego, remember what the mdc termed the mother of all rallies at Sheraton grounds before 2013 elections? mdc failed dismally. Tsvangirai needs to keep a low profile but keep his eyes pealed.

nhemacena - 12 June 2017

Panoda kungwarirwa apa, parikuratidza infiltration already. Who ever is advising mujuru has got a lot of questions to answer. Tsvangirai should also drop his ego, remember what the mdc termed the mother of all rallies at Sheraton grounds before 2013 elections? mdc failed dismally. Tsvangirai needs to keep a low profile but keep his eyes pealed.

nhemacena - 12 June 2017

Mujuru GO BACK TO ZANU..!!

Will Blackman - 12 June 2017

People who talk about war credentials annoy me so much. How many years have they had to try and do something? Almost 40 and failed. Mujuru better talk about other things than war credentials - they are valueless in 2018.

Inyika - 12 June 2017

Mujuru is reading the same chapter from the book of how Mugabe took power from Ndabaningi Sithole. Munhu ari kuda chigaro, not kubatsira nyika neruzhinji. Now I can see a headline "KHUPHE, MUTASA, GUMBO VINDICATED". Saka Mujuru ngaadzokere ku ZANU nokuti COLATERAL DAMAGE yekubatana naye is TOO MUCH!! Chi ZANU chakamupinda achiri mucheche. Hanzi nda chinja...kupi?

Will Blackman - 12 June 2017

mujuru is showing her true colours. if a cameleon changes colour it doesnt mean it ceases to be one , mujuru pretends to have repented but in truth she is still Zanu pf and Mugabe.As zimbabweans we all know teurai ropa spilled a lot of blood and looted a lot from our own resources , the do or die elections are to define our future as zimbabweans and we cant accept theses looters , these killers , these oppressers to lead us . MUJURU WE KNOW YOU AND WE WILL NEVER VOTE FOR A CRIMINAL LIKE YOU. IF YOUR FATHER ZANU PF SEND YOU TELL THEM ZIMBABWEANS WILL NOT ACCEPT NONSENSE

LOGICAL - 13 June 2017

yeah,we not surprised by Mujuru's greediness to lead the coalition. She things people have forgotten her mishaps while in Zanu Pf.please Amai Mujuru,give Zimbabweans a chance to built a new life in Zimbabwe.at least you showed your true colours in time.so I suggest to President Tsvangirai and other Coalition Heads two things. The first is to vote among the Leaders of the Coalition and see who the others want to lead the Coalition. The second,which is OBVIOUS and sustainable,MDC-T should Pull out NOW, out of the Coalition and DEFINITELY you win without destruction from people like Joyce Mujuru.

tsviriyo - 13 June 2017

Fomula.....all political parties for themselves and a few areas constiuences coalition partners will field one candidate and all political parties on presidentail campaign should forward DR RECHARD MORGON TSVANGIRI and this man wll provide a better and less vote for people to accept him becz is well known and popular 2...After he wins the he can chose a big Gvt...either 3 vis presidents prime minster and two deputies if he win and will appoint mujuru and welsheman and father D Mutasa and Biti back to his financial portifolio no one should be left our after all people work together to get a victory....so do not panic cause division everyone only trust Tsvangirai and if you want freedom go by that Man is a very Good man.

dofo - 13 June 2017

Message to Mai Muju: Takin you on the democracy bandwagon is out of magnanimity. Don't ever fool yourself that we have forgotten where you came from and who you really are. You failed with ZANU PF, you failed with People First, you are going to fail again with ZPP. Please quietly go your own way and let's see how far you will go. Don't bring your ZANU PF bullshit to our coalition. We don't need you, You need us! We have won elections before while you were our adversary in ZANU PF.We will win again, with or without you!!!!

Jonso - 13 June 2017

Mai Mujuru itsotsi rakahwandira position.Ngarizvimirire rega rione kuti rinowana mavhoti mangani. Morgan mhanya wega.Unosvika chete

chimuti - 13 June 2017

This a woman who had her husband killed by Mugabe but still she continuedto serve him, this is a woma n who was jnvolved jn the killiekillieng of 20 000 ndebeles but she did not say anythjng this is the woman who went all out his way To stop Masiwa from his bid to introduce cell phones inthjs country this is a woman who acquiesced to yhe plunderjng and looting of this eco kmhby her juniors, thjs ia woman whos husband took diamond mines and other mjnes this is woman who presided iver yhedecayand decadencw of this economy nhasimoti umoda kutungamirira opposition.she js jn oppositio out of cpnvjnvience reasons nekuti hapana kumwe kwaangaenee nekuti akadzingwa.this is woman akauta zvekudzingwa ,uZanu pf. Pasi naye

aaron - 14 June 2017

So if the army,war Veterans and farmers all have a tainted history, and Mujuru as "one of their own" and with that tainted history she is not qualified.We want those without a tainted history to get a chance

Phillip Sinacho - 29 June 2017

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