Mixed reactions to Mugabe-Mujuru alliance

HARARE - There have been mixed reactions to a coalition of the wounded between former President Robert Mugabe and his former deputy Joice Mujuru, with some analysts saying it will have zero political impact, while some said the former Vice President would reap immense benefits.

This comes as political dynamics in the country appeared to have taken an intriguing twist when it emerged that Mugabe and Mujuru had not only smoked a peace pipe but that the former had also pledged to support the latter who now leads the opposition National People’s  Party (NPP)  against President Emmerson Mnangagwa in this year’s general elections.

The meeting had raised hope that Mujuru and her NPP will harvest political capital by taking on board vanquished members of the Generation 40 cabal, a group of young Zanu PF members who had coalesced around Mugabe's 52-year-old wife, Grace.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure described the meeting as “an innocuous meeting between someone agonising over the treatment he gave to his former ally and his victim.”

“I don’t think there is anything beyond the fact that it is normal that at that age, one would want to make peace with those he wronged, especially if it has become apparent that the punishment he meted out on Mujuru was unfair,” Masunugure told the Daily News on Sunday.

“At that age, you would want to prepare yourself for the day your maker decides to take you and before that happens, one would want to make peace and I think that is what motivated the meeting of the two.

“At the moment, the G40 is dead and buried and I don’t think the option to work with Mujuru is a viable one. It would be improper for anyone to impute a political advantage or loss from that meeting. Mugabe only wanted to repair the damage he caused after realising that he had been misled by other ambitious leaders in Zanu PF,” he said.

The former allies-turned-foes’ meeting was the first time Mugabe had met an opposition leader since the expiry of the unity government in 2013 in which he shared power with Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC party  and its splinter faction then led by Arthur Mutambara.

Another political analyst Maxwell Saungweme differed, saying Mujuru would  reap immense benefits from the meeting with Mugabe on account of the fact that many in the opposition ranks who celebrated the military intervention that forced the 93-year-old despot to resign were a disappointed lot.

Saungweme said Zimbabweans had hoped that Mugabe’s police State would be replaced by a more democratic government only to realise that the new Mnangagwa administration is worse off.

“I think many in opposition who celebrated the coup now realise their folly of replacing Mugabe and his police state with Mnangagwa and a military junta,” Saungweme said.

“It’s bad to say Mugabe is better but a choice between a police state and military junta is very revealing.

“You will recall even in the negotiations during the coup, Mugabe kept asking the military why they wanted Mnangagwa not Mujuru if it was about seniority.

“People are slowly realising that Mugabe, apart from his longevity and dictatorship, he averted a bloody transition by not resisting the military coup, so I don't see Mujuru’s visit as anything that erodes her political capital.”

Saungweme said even Mnangagwa still regards Mugabe as his father and that if he were to request a meeting with Tsvangirai or any one of his three deputies, they would also oblige.

“So Mujuru loses nothing by being endorsed by Mugabe. Instead, she will court G40s who are even being courted by other opposition parties.”

It is understood a cross-section of opposition parties — among them the National People’s Party (NPP) and the MDC Alliance — are engaged in secret talks with banished members of the Generation 40 (G40) faction as they seek to work on their weaknesses and outsmart a resurgent Zanu PF at the forthcoming polls.

The MDC Alliance, which brings together seven opposition political parties, recently met in Bindura during a retreat and concluded that synergies should be built with G40 elements who are either in exile or face an uncertain future in Zanu PF to give Mnangagwa’s party a good run for its money.

And early last week, another meeting took place in Cape Town, South Africa, where G40 officials deliberated on sponsoring independent candidates and also forming partnerships in areas where the MDC Alliance or the NPP hold sway.

The talks are taking place either through emissaries for fear of blowing the cover on those G40 functionaries that are in hiding, or through informal channels — in the case of those Zanu PF members who are on their way out because of their perceived links with Mugabe.

Civil rights activist and analyst McDonald Lewanika suggesting that Mugabe’s ouster by the military last year and Mnangagwa’s subsequent rise to the presidency was not a popular decision among die-hard Zanu PF supporters below the provincial structures.

Lewanika warned that Mujuru would likely benefit from their disgruntlement saying “there is no doubt that in rural Zimbabwe many were left not only shocked but disturbed by the developments.”

“These are the people, who are Zanu PF members that the party must be wary of and which Mujuru can harvest from,” Lewanika said.

“Politics is not about permanent friendships or enemies, it is about interests and if Mujuru and G40 and Mugabe’s interests align, this can work to her favour, in the same way the Lacoste and G40 interests aligned leading to Mujuru’s demise.”

He, however, was quick to hazard that with the ruling party “highly regimented”, it will not work if Mugabe does not play an active role to support Mujuru to get political pickings from his strongholds.


Comments (6)

I think Masunungure might b right ;Mugabe as an old man who might have sensed his near time to kick the bucket;as all old men usually do at such times;so might have only wanted to reconcile with Mujuru inorder to go clean & also to flatter her, only as a sign of his genuine reconciliation effort by praising her presidential bid. Itz true he might still have some die-hard misgivings deep inside him, over the issue of his removal by the army &perhaps propped up by the wife in an ego of an old man,but however to no consequence.May b the wife might b the one who is interested to join Mujuru in order to fight Ngwena & the retired general -hence he mentioned Chiwenga at the meeting;I don't think n thing could have bn arranged to the effect that sekuru Mugabe returns active politics.

addmore gudo - 4 February 2018

lewanika is just spot on Mujuru got a live wire and that does not surprise if she would garner more votes than Mnangagwa whose support at present is not so clear but that does not mean she will win the elections . Mean while zanu has not regained its mojo that is a lie and wishful thinking . Actually pple hate this party for destroying their country for thirty eighty years .

Diibulaanyika - 4 February 2018

Mujuru is not the calibre for President in Zimbabwe nor does she have a team to match. Munangawa has restored Zimbabwe from a pariah state under a dictator. Those waiting for Opposition led Government after the mess they created in running down towns are wishful thinkers. Munanganwa is the overwhelming more popular and we not going to expriment with Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans have inter-married over the past century and the tribal card will not work. A Zezuru based ideology is anachronisctic. Shame! Mujuru will have less votes than Chamisa! Elections will not be postponed to give unorganized parties more time. They knew when elections are coming up. The New Dispensation and in a few months the voters will have their say electing Munangagwa.

Mufaro Sibanda - 4 February 2018

this is ludacris

nutty dreadlock - 5 February 2018

I would like to think ZANU PF suppoters who voted for Bob will still support him..unless people think there are no ZANU PF supporters

Sun Tzu - 5 February 2018

This is true that the G40 crew swallowed their bitter pill and now want to join hand against the ruling team and dilute the votes.No one will be fooled to join either . We would rather vote Shakespear Maya than you. We know where our vote belongs to

TIRED OG THE ROT - 6 February 2018

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