Bitter Mugabe backs Mujuru

HARARE – The political dynamics playing out in Zimbabwe took another intriguing twist on Tuesday when ex-president Robert Mugabe not only smoked a peace pipe with his former deputy, Joice Mujuru, but also promised to back her presidential bid, the Daily News can report.

Mugabe met Mujuru at his ‘‘Blue Roof’’ mansion in the leafy suburb of Borrowdale, Harare, on Tuesday for the first time since they broke ranks in December 2014.

It was also the first time Mugabe has met an opposition party leader since the expiry of the unity government in June 2013 in which Zanu PF shared power with two MDC formations led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

Insiders in Mujuru’s party — the National People’s Party (NPP) — told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe, who initiated the meeting, offered his unqualified support to his former deputy in the forthcoming elections, where Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa will be seeking his first full mandate as head of State and government.

Mnangagwa ascended to the throne through a soft military coup of November 14 that led to the forced resignation of his predecessor who had been isolated from his allies in the Generation 40 (G40) faction of Zanu PF.

NPP insiders said the meeting sent a clear message to Mugabe’s die-hard supporters that the 93-year-old ex-guerrilla leader was not for the “new dispensation” and was throwing his weight behind Mujuru.

They said Mugabe also sent a pointed but subtle message to his supporters to shift their allegiance to Mujuru, whose rivalry with Mnangagwa could be traced as far back as the 1990s when her husband Solomon Mujuru and Mnangagwa competed for Mugabe’s ear until his passing in a suspicious inferno in August 2011.

During the meeting, NPP insiders claimed the toppled president apologised for unfairly dismissing Mujuru in 2014, and blamed Mnangagwa for misleading him into believing that Mujuru wanted to topple him when in fact he was pursuing his own political agenda.

“They met and it was at Mugabe’s invitation. One of the reasons was to say sorry for everything that happened to her and that he had acted on incorrect briefings from Mnangagwa,” an NPP national executive member said.

The NPP official said Mujuru told Mugabe that despite all that she has gone through, she harboured no hard feelings towards him.

While Mujuru’s spokesperson Gift Nyandoro was not keen to disclose details of their meeting to the media, NPP’s deputy national organising secretary Paddington Japajapa told the Daily News that Mugabe had pledged his full support for Mujuru’s presidential campaign.

“The meeting took place at Mugabe’s residence so it is all systems go. G40 members are coming on board; former first lady Grace Mugabe loves the idea, and so is Saviour Kasukuwere and others who are also ready to help the Mujuru campaign financially,” Japajapa said.

“We do not care who they are and where they are coming from as long as they bring in votes — that is what we are excited about as a party. Let us see how it pans out but this is a real game-changer — I tell you.”

Although Mujuru was not immediately available for comment, she confirmed meeting Mugabe to Voice of America (VOA).

“I spoke to him on Tuesday. We discussed how he was lied to when they accused me,” she said.

“He is at his home; he is not happy with what happened to him which he said is not constitutional. He is surprised that the gun that we always knew as being led by politics is the one leading, why?” Mujuru told VOA.

“I also spoke to Grace, who also said she was misinformed by people who had realised that I was about to take over as president.”

“I was happy when he called me and I grabbed the opportunity,” she said.

She also claimed Mugabe’s wife, Grace, admitted during their meeting that she plotted her ouster from Zanu PF and government over petty gossip.

Mujuru said Grace now regrets having been ill-advised.

Mujuru revealed when she was ousted from Zanu PF, it had been alleged that her plan was to seize power and “reform Zanu PF the Magufuli way and we had already started so that is what they did not want,” she said.

Nicknamed “the Bulldozer” for his strict leadership style, Tanzanian president John Magufuli has won praise for his tough anti-corruption fight.

Magufuli’s opponents, however, accuse him of cracking down on dissent and limiting democratic space.

He has denied the allegations, saying he was not a dictator.

The drive to root out corruption in Tanzania has felled ministers, the head of government’s anti-graft body, the tax chief and thousands of civil servants.

Ironically, Mujuru was assaulted by suspected Zanu PF youths as she met her supporters in the capital on Thursday, less than 48 hours after her meeting with Mugabe.

The rumour mill has gone into overdrive, claiming Zanu PF was already running scared and that the attack was meant to intimidate Mujuru who has extended an olive branch to members of the G40 faction which was targeted by the military operation code-named Operation Restore Legacy.

One of the think-tanks in the G40 faction took to Twitter yesterday to hint that Mujuru and Mugabe’s meeting was “a game changer.”

“Joice Mujuru attacked by #coup soldiers after her game changing meeting with president Mugabe,” Jonathan Moyo, who is currently in self-imposed exile, tweeted yesterday.

United Kingdom-based political analyst Alex Magaisa described the development as “intriguing given the political context.”

“He was brutal when he sacked her four years ago and this would have been their first meeting since then – united in the cold. Could this signal a renewed alliance between Joice and the man she calls ‘father’?” Magaisa wrote on his Twitter account.

Magaisa noted that the alliance, if it materialises, could spell doom for Mnangagwa’s presidential bid.

He said Mugabe still commands a significant following in the country hence the alliance could work in Mujuru’s favour.

“For all his faults, and despite the fake cheers at rallies, Mugabe surely had people who idolised him? In 1980, Muzorewa’s supporters went underground but he had managed 220 000 votes at the election. Could there be Mugabe supporters out there who will back whoever he backs?

“If so, this front could prove to be a headache for Mnangagwa and his team. But would Mujuru forgive her treatment in 2014 at the hands of Mugabe’s wife, Grace and her cabal? Then again, there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics.

“This election could prove to be more fascinating and interesting than the damp squib it was threatening to be. It could turn out to be Zanu A v Zanu B v MDC United v Others!”

Mugabe expelled Mujuru from Zanu PF and government in December 2014 on untested allegations of plotting to unseat him.

Mujuru (62) had deputised Mugabe for 10 years, having joined his government at independence in 1980 as the youngest Cabinet minister.

After several months of pondering about her future, Mujuru caused a major political ripple when she emerged from her shell in March 2016 to head the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF).

She dumped ZPF months later after it got enmeshed in power struggles and formed NPP, whose campaign for the forthcoming poll is based on the promise to revive the economy and repair strained relations with the West.

Mujuru will stand at the polls as NPP’s presidential candidate.

It, however, still remains to be seen if the meeting of minds between them could derail a resurgent Mnangagwa whose political stock is rising daily on the back of his strong push to revive the country’s economy and reintegrate Zimbabwe among the community of nations.

Comments (14)

Mai Mujuru na Mai Mugabe makara asionani;imi we nyadzi dzinokunda rufu kkkkkkk. Now are cunningly lying to each,they hv bn misled

addmore gudo - 3 February 2018

Some political commentators are fake. Do people really think Mugabe has supporters? For Mujuru, well let her dream after meeting the people who kicked her out of the party. I always believe Mujuru is daft. Now she believes the narration that she was kicked out of Zanu PF at the instigation of Mnangagwa. Only people with short memories will buy that. Good luck Mujuru. If you win 2 seats you should consider yourself a fighter. For Mnangagwa, do not overprotect Mugabe. He is known to be vindictive. If he stole anything simply let the law deal with him and his wife.

dick mboko - 3 February 2018

It is a shame for someone to suggest ED is gaining support by day when that is actually the opposite people have realised the problem is zanu and they have rekindled hate for this party .I do not foresee ED winning he has no support just a handful of them and soldiers and that can not win him any election .He is headed for a heavy defeat .

Diibulaanyika - 3 February 2018

So it is the clever journalists opinion that if some like Mujuru says she is innocent she is and everyone else including MDC lawyers are lying. FACTS. 1.Mujuru and Tsvangerai had a meeting and discuss training terrorists at a camo in SA. 2. With the assistance of ex Rhodie colonels locally they contacted a Colonel Williams, ex Brit SAS, to lead them into Zimbabwe local mercenaries were to join them here all funded by the west. 3. th army was deployed to successfully guard the zim border at the last election 4 the opposition shoute they wanted the army back in barracks for obvious reasons. 5. disa[proving of the training of terrorists Coldart stepped down after the election and admitted same publically. 6 Mujuru was monitored after the election in order that all accomplices in ZANU could be identified and removed. 7. I had arink in Libbiys Bar Soloman the day of his death. normally a reserved man he was very angry he said that he had just had a bad meeting with his wife. He kicked off his farm at the election before because of her planned violence. He heard of other plans and decided to see her - she told him she didn't live with him any more and he couldn't order her about. He tried to explain with his surname it reflected on him and said he would see HE the next day and tell him whar t she was up to. That night he was burnt alive on his farm. TAHREE women controlled the area Joice, Lucy Chitaka and the female member in charge. No local would dare set foot on his farm due to the murders on Lucy Chitaka's farm wher villagers wrectoetures and ekes removed filled with Sadza. So journalist present the violent murderer as an angel until you die. The above is fact, the article is about fiction.

John - 4 February 2018

So it is the clever journalists opinion that if some like Mujuru says she is innocent she is and everyone else including MDC lawyers are lying. FACTS. 1.Mujuru and Tsvangerai had a meeting and discuss training terrorists at a camo in SA. 2. With the assistance of ex Rhodie colonels locally they contacted a Colonel Williams, ex Brit SAS, to lead them into Zimbabwe local mercenaries were to join them here all funded by the west. 3. th army was deployed to successfully guard the zim border at the last election 4 the opposition shoute they wanted the army back in barracks for obvious reasons. 5. disa[proving of the training of terrorists Coldart stepped down after the election and admitted same publically. 6 Mujuru was monitored after the election in order that all accomplices in ZANU could be identified and removed. 7. I had arink in Libbiys Bar Soloman the day of his death. normally a reserved man he was very angry he said that he had just had a bad meeting with his wife. He kicked off his farm at the election before because of her planned violence. He heard of other plans and decided to see her - she told him she didn't live with him any more and he couldn't order her about. He tried to explain with his surname it reflected on him and said he would see HE the next day and tell him whar t she was up to. That night he was burnt alive on his farm. TAHREE women controlled the area Joice, Lucy Chitaka and the female member in charge. No local would dare set foot on his farm due to the murders on Lucy Chitaka's farm wher villagers wrectoetures and ekes removed filled with Sadza. So journalist present the violent murderer as an angel until you die. The above is fact, the article is about fiction.

John - 4 February 2018

@John ok if the army intercepted plans by opposition as you claim to topple the govt that a well done job by the soldiers and the opposition remains clean with no blood of citizens in their hands leaving zanu and ED with a lot of human skulls . Now why did the army not do the same when Mnangagwa was in the fore front killing 20 000 unarmed citizens? .Why did the army let Mnangagwa kill over 200 MDC T supporters in 2008 which forced Morgan to pull out of election run off.?Why was the army used by Mnangagwa to join some political internal fights which he had failed to handle himself bcoz he lacked brains to do so . Lets We have no army so far we have Mnangagwa thugs behaving as national soldiers .

Dave - 4 February 2018

All what John is saying if ever its true was cooked up by Mnangagwa we know him he is so good at doing that he planted arms near zipra farms so he could justify his evil ways , So all what John is saying was Mnangagwa plans to deceive the old Mugabe to fire Mujuru so he could takeover as from her .Mnangagwa is just skelem .

Chimedza matombo - 4 February 2018

Joice mujuru was and will never be presidential material. The fact that Mugabe is now playing tricks with her shows she is mentally immature, weak, daft, stupid and myopic. Mugabe wants to use her. Why apologise now. She could not even protect her own husband in anticipation of 35 pieces of silver which she never got. Nxaa

jonathan gonzo - 5 February 2018

Time to re-consider if granting immunity to ex-leaders is democratic. I think the immunity given or promised Robert should be revoked to allow him to defend himself in court. We want him to sau it in a public court that all the decisions he made while president or prime minister of the country were at the instigation of ED. Let the game begin.

Joseph Mutasa - 5 February 2018

The whole bob and gigi fiasco is nonsense. bob and gigi dont own us and therefore must stop playing with our lives like we are lab rats. Everyone should instead read www.startupzw.com and make a verdict for themselves

Richard Tentone - 5 February 2018

Magaisa you are letting yourself down...With all what Mugabe has down over the years you seriously believe Zimbos are that foolish to follow Mugabe again. All those souls that poured onto the streets to say Mugabe Go will now support Mugabe again barely 80 days on ?? Seriously ????

Mukariba - 6 February 2018

I think Joice is a bigger fool than I imagined if she falls for Mugabe's latest trick. How opportune for him to apologise to her now that he has been kicked out, when did he realise he had been lied to? He is blaming kasukuwere and Mnangagwa? What about Grace? She was Mujurus tormentor-in- chief. We are told he tried the same trick with Mnangagwa when the army had him under siege. " Come back home now so that we can fix this thing, I was not aware of what G40 were up to? Mnangagwa , knowing the old fox's bag of tricks, wisely did not fall for it. Seriously, how can a 94 year old man who has been in power for 37 years be bitter for being removed from power. Uchadeyi? For goodness sake what more does he want..., what more can he offer? . Mugabe's longevity in power is because he played his colleagues one against the other. The problems at Zanu PF have always been his (deliberate) doing. He is history,it is now time for Mnangagwa & his team..

Toga Mhepo-Shumba - 6 February 2018

Here is the proof that the MDC Alliance should not waste time courting Joice. She will never leave Robert!!

Johno - 7 February 2018

If, indeed, ED influenced RGM to boot Mujuru out, who influenced RGM to also fire ED?

Vote Ed - 9 February 2018

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