WASHINGTON DC —
Former Vice President Joice Mujuru on Tuesday signaled a possible run against her former boss, President Robert Mugabe, through a two-page document titled Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (BUILD) that she released to newspapers.
Mrs. Mujuru introduced the proposal by explaining that she and her unnamed team “have been hard at work and I wish to share with you, in brief, how we propose to translate our vision for a better Zimbabwe into reality."
The former vice president spelled out her vision, mission and strategy for a better Zimbabwe.
Mrs. Mujuru did not explain the vehicle through which BUILD would be implemented, as the manifesto made no mention of her intention to run for the presidency or a party under which she would contest.
While she did not say who the “we” is, the document is replete with mentions of “People First” – a suggested name for a political party Zimbabweans are expecting her to launch ahead of the 2018 elections.
Mrs. Mujuru, 60, said she will repeal laws such at the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act that bar foreign journalists from operating permanently in the country and has blocked the establishment of private television stations while radio licenses have been issued to people with Zanu PF links.
Also on her bucket list is the country controversial indigenization laws that she said would be amended drastically along with other laws that restrict the people’s freedoms.
“A wholesale review of the Indigenization Act will be effected,” she said, noting that “we shall emphasize economic empowerment that attracts investment and promotes the broad-based socio-economic infrastructure development objectives.
“We shall enforce, promote and respect property rights and address historical compulsory acquisition through fair and transparent compensation.”
Mrs. Mujuru also said her government would provide title for land. Currently all land in the country belongs to the state.
She promised to undertake a national healing exercise to address “the trauma emanating from pre and post-independence conflicts in Zimbabwe” to deal with the country’s vicious cycle of violence, beginning in the 1980s with Gukurahundi that saw an estimated 20,000 Ndebeles allegedly being killed by the Fifth Brigade.
Other important issues she touched on include allowing Zimbabweans all over the world to vote in national polls.
She said the civil service will be apolitical, adding loss-making parastatals will “not enjoy state subsidies indefinitely, if at all”.
Mujuru’s spokesman Rugare Gumbo said they were on Tuesday inundated with calls from President Mugabe’s allies congratulating them for releasing the blueprint.
Independent commentator Nhlanhla Dube said he is not surprised that Mrs. Mujuru may be preparing to throw her hat into the political fray.
If you can't open the link below, copy it to your computer desktop or visit us on VOA Studio 7 Facebok for a mobile phone-friendly version.
FULL TEXT OF FORMER VP JOICE MUJURU'S MANIFESTO (UNEDITED PDF DOCUMENT)