FORMER vice-president Joice Mujuru appears determined to have her name on the ballot paper in next year’s presidential elections even if it means going head to head with opposition heavyweight Morgan Tsvangirai.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
A fortnight ago Mujuru, who was fired from Zanu PF in 2014 for allegedly plotting against President Robert Mugabe, unveiled the People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) as she prepared to run for the highest office next year.
However, few are giving her a chance and political analysts said Mugabe’s former protégé still had a long way to go for her to be considered a serious candidate.
South Africa-based political commentator Blessing Vava said Mujuru was struggling to make an impact in opposition politics.
“It’s a coalition of individuals without any capacity to attract the numbers. Mujuru has failed to position herself as a contender for the presidency,” he said.
“The only coalition that is worth looking at is the MDC Alliance, otherwise outside that framework it’s a tall order.
“Look closely, who is in that team? Little-known parties like Zunde, these are just individuals who, if you were to ask, randomly at Copacabana bus terminus, ‘who or what is Zunde’?, the response you will get will not be far from, ‘do you mean Zunde ramambo? [communal agricultural production led by chiefs].’”
University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure concurred, saying Mujuru’s chances against Mugabe were slim.
“It is well true for the opposition parties either individually or collectively under the circumstances, the chances of the coalition, whether it is the one led by Tsvangirai or that led by Mujuru upstaging Zanu PF in the next elections, those chances are very lean,” he said.
However, Dare president Gilbert Dzikiti, who is also part of Mujuru’s coalition, insisted the National People’s Party president was the best candidate to take on Mugabe.
“She is definitely ready, confident and comfortable to lead the transition and Zimbabwe as the second president of the Republic,” he said.
“She has the expertise and experience of office and is knowledgeable of office challenges, protocol and etiquette.
“Her liberation credentials and progressive agenda makes her acceptable across all ages and generations in Zimbabwe. Joyce Teurai Ropa Mujuru is ready to govern and has been ready to serve since she was vice-president of the Republic.”
Dzikiti said he was confident opposition parties, including those in the MDC Alliance, would eventually rally behind Mujuru’s candidacy.
“It is possible to have a single coalition to challenge Robert Mugabe and the PRC offers an inclusive platform with a value proposition acceptable to a majority of parties,” he said.
“Greed and egos have no place in the hearts and minds of patriotic Zimbabweans.
“Any coalition built around protecting or ring-fencing brands and individuals without a framework towards servitude and transformation will be a betrayal of the democratic institutional challenges we face today.”
Masunungure said greed and selfishness had become the opposition’s undoing.
“The leadership is full of people with an egocentric view and who have no nationalistic picture,” he said.
“It’s about positions and power and less about the people and it is therefore difficult to see how they can converge together and mount a united front, although there are chances that the MDC Alliance and the PRC can work together.”
Vava concurred, saying greed was the reason efforts to form a strong opposition coalition were not bearing fruit.
“It’s all about power; their politics is not based on any ideological underpinnings nor principle,” he said.
“They are greedy and are ready to sacrifice principle on the altar of convenience.”
Mujuru has in the past said a coalition with Tsvangirai is still possible and some believe the formation of the PRC was meant to give her more bargaining power in the negotiations. – The Standard