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Observers: Mujuru's People First Party Capable of Unseating Mugabe

  • Irwin  Chifera

FILE: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe reacts with his deputy Joice Mujuru, during Defence Forces Day in Harare, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012.

FILE: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe reacts with his deputy Joice Mujuru, during Defence Forces Day in Harare, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012.

With serious infighting in the ruling Zanu PF party and instability in other major political parties in Zimbabwe, some political analysts and ordinary people believe that former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her Zimbabwe People First party stand a better chance of the winning the next elections in 2018.

But others say her Zanu PF past will seriously dent her chances of removing President Mugabe from power.

Several political parties and ordinary Zimbabweans are backing Mrs. Mujuru and her grouping in an attempt to wrestle power from Zanu PF, which has ruled the country since independence from British rule in 1980.

They say instability in major political parties and the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change present her a clear chance to claim power in her first poll outside the ruling party.

Great Zimbabwe media lecturer, Golden Maunganidze, says Zimbabwe People First is attracting huge crowds in Masvingo province and stands a better chance of doing well in the forthcoming general elections.

“Here in Masvingo they have high chances of getting a lot of people considering that they are finishing from other political parties. You can see they are people from the People Democratic Party and MDC T considering join Mujuru, they have been there at their meetings.”

He adds that chances are high that disgruntled people from other political parties will join her when she eventually launches her political party.

Independent political commentator, Blessing Vava, also believes that Mrs. Mujuru will do well in the next crucial elections.

“I think it will be too early to rubbish her off considering the turmoil that is in Zanu PF and people reportedly joining her party from Zanu PF and the MDC so I think she is going to pause a serious threat in as far as the elections in 2018 are concerned.”

But others like former Zanu PF lawmaker, Temba Mliswa, who was expelled from Zanu PF at the same time with Mrs. Mujuru thinks that she would have a tough time to market herself given her strong links to Zanu PF.

“From the corruption in Zanu PF how then do you exonerate yourself from it? The diamonds, something you are mentioned in it, yes when you were in power and when you were acting whom did you fire for being corrupt? Questions will be asked by the electorate, they want to know, it’s a credibility issue, it’s an issue which has brought the country down.”

Independent political commentator, Vivid Gwede, concurs, noting that only those people that resigned from Zanu PF stand a better chance of doing well in elections.

“Maybe Mujuru has to first prove herself. We have seen her pausing in photographs but pausing is not the same as rallying. She hasn’t held any rally at the moment. There is the issue of ideology that she is pursuing, there is also the issue of the political heritage that she carries on her back.”

Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director, Pedzisai Ruhanya, cautions against seeing Mrs. Mujuru as a Messiah saying people should learn from the 2008 elections in which Mavambo Kusile Dawn Party leader Simba Makoni, despite high expectations, came third after Tsvangirai and Mugabe.

He said the best for way for the opposition is a coalition.

“So the Messiah is Mujuru, Tsvangirai , Biti, Welshman and others that are complaining about (President) Mugabe coming together to work as a group. So the Messiah is in the coalition of democrats people who believe that this country need political redemption from Mugabe’s 36 years of failed political and economic leadership.”

In her clearest signal that she is ready to participate in elections, Mrs. Mujuru registered her party with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission last Friday though the party is yet to be officially launched.