MUTARE, MANICALAND —
Zimbabwe People First leader and former Vice President Joice Mujuru says her party is expected to engage the international community to revive the economy if elected into power unlike the current ruling Zanu PF, which is always attacking the West for nearly all problems faced by Zimbabweans.
Mrs. Mujuru told about 5,000 people attending a Zimbabwe People First rally yesterday at Sakura Stadium in Mutare, Manicaland province, that her party would create mutual relations with many nations.
“What we are saying is that you do not insult people around you when in future you will need their help. As People First we do not chose who to work with, we shall look everywhere and we take what is good for us as Zimbabweans and pursue that. If we have nothing to do with some country, we will simply remain quiet and not scold others and that is what has landed us in this mess.”
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party crafted what it called a Look East Policy following a fall out with the West that imposed targeted sanctions on some senior ruling party officials following allegations of alleged human rights violations and election rigging.
So-called mega deals signed with the China and Belarus are yet to bear tangible results. Mrs. Mujuru said relations with any nation should benefit Zimbabwe.
“People First will look everywhere to move ahead and give people hope and transformation that is what we are looking for. As a leader you do not just travel anywhere and come back empty handed. When you go out you have to make sure you bring with you something for the children back home; that is what we know.”
She said Zimbabweans are seeking answers on the country's deteriorating economic situation, stressing that local people don't deserve to be severely punished by the police for making these demands.
“Zimbabweans are questioning where are we heading as a country, they need answers and as People First that’s where we come in and say we want peace and not violence. People need food, people are hungry and when they say they are hungry you do not give them cow dung you have to look for the food; and not responding violently or by beating them, you are supposed to answer them properly.”
The Zimbabwe People First leader bemoaned the absence of an agricultural policy, which she claimed has resulted in most farmers to abandon growing key crops like cotton, and maize.
She said such poor planning would force some farmers to abandon growing tobacco, a key foreign currency earner.
“The problem is that we do not have a clear agricultural policy in the country, the people are tired; they grow maize and wait for years without receiving their money from the GMB after delivering the grain, they will not receive again their money for the cotton and many have since stopped growing it. They question why should they continue suffering and toiling for nothing. Very soon they will again stop growing tobacco.”
Mrs. Mujuru expressed concern over the closure of many companies in Mutare and those operating below capacity. She urged the Zanu PF government to call for fresh elections to restore legitimacy and end the suffering of citizens.
She said President Mugabe should give answers on disappearance of diamonds worth $15 billion as he is the leader of the nation. Mrs. Mujuru said corrupt top leaders have to be held accountable and jailed.
Some of the top Zimbabwe People First leaders, who attended the event, included party acting spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, former Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and Ambassador John Shumba Mvundura, among other former senior Zanu PF officials.