Claims by opposition leader Dr Joice Mujuru on Tuesday that she was President Mugabe’s natural successor before her unceremonious expulsion from Zanu-PF and Government are untrue as they are a figment of her fertile imagination, war veterans and political observers said yesterday.
Dr Mujuru made the claim in her presentation at an event organised by the London School of Economics and the United Nations to mark International Women’s Day in the British capital.
War veterans and political analysts who spoke to our Harare Bureau yesterday dismissed Dr Mujuru’s claims, saying the embattled National People’s Party leader was never popularly elected to any position, as she was a mere beneficiary of President Mugabe’s benevolence and Zanu-PF’s 2004 constitutional amendments.
Dr Mujuru was fired from Zanu-PF in 2014 together with a coterie of hangers on, on account of gross incompetence and plotting to unseat President Mugabe unconstitutionally.
In her London address Dr Mujuru said: “When it became apparent that I was the clear successor to President Robert Mugabe, men seemed not ready for that, although the nation had fully endorsed my candidature.
“What is sad in most of these cases of persecution and abuse of women is that men find willing accomplices in some of our own fellow women. This was the case in Zimbabwe where those at the forefront of side-lining me were fellow women.”
War veterans and analysts told our Harare Bureau that Dr Mujuru was so inept during her tenure as Vice President and to therefore think she was going to be the country’s First Citizen was a wild dream by “a naive and desperate politician without grasp of national politics”.
War veteran leader and Manicaland provincial Minister of State Cde Mandi Chimene said: “There is nothing like natural and clear successor in Zanu-PF.
All leaders come from the people and even President Mugabe came from the people. If she thinks it was natural as she wants people to believe, why was she canvassing people to be aligned to her?
“I think she also mistook herself to be the biblical Daniel who was thrown in a den of lions or Jonah who was swallowed by the fish and only to be saved by God. Tell her that the fish that swallowed her is now digesting her instead of taking her to Nineveh.
“She is day dreaming and I shudder to think what was going to happen if she was to become President when she is now warming up to the country’s enemies like this.”
Political analyst Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said the former Vice President should be grateful for the positions she attained both in the party and Government while she was still a member of the ruling party.
“Joice was way beyond number 20 in the Zanu-PF hierarchy and there were other senior and more competent women who could have occupied the Vice Presidency position ahead of her in the party and I think she is one person who should thank President Mugabe for his immeasurable benevolence,” he said.
“She is also a beneficiary of the amendment made to the Zanu-PF constitution to have a woman Vice President in 2004 and she misled herself when President Mugabe said “you should aim higher”. She interpreted that to mean that she was being groomed to be the successor, which was not the case.
“She then began to mobilise party structures against President Mugabe – an exercise which then back fired. Her London speech is a desperate statement propelled by greedy ambitions and if she thinks that Zimbabweans really accepted her as their leader, let her prove herself at the ballot box.
“I think enough test regarding her worth came during the Bikita West by-election, which saw her coiling back in her shell.”
Mr Mureriwa said Dr Mujuru was now a desperate politician, especially after she broke ranks with founding members of her political project.