THE recent visit by National People’s Party leader Joice Mujuru to the United Kingdom elicited all manner of responses. Political scientists and analysts, armchair critics, keyboard analysts, social media warriors and so on — making the legion of the Zimbabwean commentariat — had a field day. Mujuru had gone to the land of the Queen to attend a women’s indaba and had routine television interviews including the marquee “HARDTalk” show at the British Broadcasting Corporation where Stephen Sackur typically gave her a tough time.
There was also another interview by a German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle.
The stakes are high in the country’s leadership race as the year 2018 gets closer and closer.
Mujuru is formerly Zimbabwe’s number two, and occupied that office for a good 10 years before being thrown out in the fateful year 2014.
A lot of people have been asking questions — hard, tearing questions in the case of HARDTalk — about Mujuru’s aptitude to wrestle and take over from the veteran leader, President Mugabe, her former boss and mentor.
The line of questioning has been savage: her role in the acts of commission and omission by the Government of which she was part for over three decades.
The typical questions revolve around the so-called Gukurahundi, which, alert observers would note, is increasingly gaining currency as a political issue — apparently to try to lampoon certain candidates ahead of elections in 2018.
Mujuru has also had to field questions about the so-called Gukurahundi.
She also had to face questions regarding her family’s wealth and her role in accruing the same with her husband.
The Mujurus were known to be rich.
They were also known to be fantastically corrupt on the way to amassing a reported US$9 billion worth of assets.
But Joice says she is just a poor widow who owns an inherited farm left by her husband.
People know that it is a lie, and when she did lie people, The Herald not least, simply revisited court records outlining the estate of the late Solomon.
And boy it is not little — never mind the fact that Joice is said to have hidden more from the courts to prevent the execution of the whole of her husband’s wealth for the benefit of his family.
Lying is just one of Mujuru’s weaknesses.
It has been rearing so ugly in her interviews, especially when she has been called upon to own up to whatever allegedly took place during her stay in Government and the ruling party.
She has been in an ultra-defensive and default lying mode.
And it has visited her a lot of derision. That was part of her calamitous London visit.
Joice Mujuru has zero credibility.
Much worse, she has the same zero measure of integrity when she tries to tell the world that she stayed that long in Government and the ruling party because she had cocooned herself in some righteous, hidden remit.
In London, she would refrain to her interlocutors, “My people know me and what I did for them.”
Back home a precious few people have an idea what it is that which she did and was crowing about.
The people of Dotito, Mt Darwin, Muzarabani and the rest of Mashonaland Central as we have demonstrated amply here, do not have fond memories of Mujuru.
They do not have anything to point out to as a marker of Mujuru’s achievement.
That is not even a secret.
Mujuru had contempt for the people and poor villagers of Mash Central often spit in anger her usual dismissive attitude when they wanted to present their grievances.
She reportedly would say, “Nhasi harisi zuva remibvunzo. Tichanyatsouya towaridza maZambia tichinzwa zvichemo zvenyu” (I’m not here to hear your problems. I will come another day and spend the whole day listening to your grievances”.
And the day never came.
That is how people know Mujuru.
They also know her as a greedy individual who would grab implements and goods donated by Government and NGOs for her personal use.
Stories are also told of how she would pocket proceeds of major community projects, giving poor villagers bottles of cooking oil while she creamed off profits.
The people of Mashonaland Central tell these bitter tales.
They know her better.
For most of us she is just an unimaginative, but ambitious former Number Two who spent the better part of her time surrounding herself with corrupt cronies who would aid her in her bid to take power from her principal.
She has since admitted to planning this palace coup.
She did so in London, telling the world how she wanted to take power from within.
She is out, hoping to do the same.
Only she is severely limited and that is why she had a torrid time in London and gave people a lot to say and write.
Yet one could count her very lucky.
If one looks closely at the interviews, which she fared badly, nobody really took her to task about her policies and what ideas she has for Zimbabwe.
It will be recalled that just recently she renamed her party National People’s Party and proclaimed the following:
“We realised that there were limitations that the name Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) had in reflecting and selling the national democratic ideology and core values we espouse as a party
“As national democrats, we are guided by our main core values of constitutionalism, inclusivity, devolution of power and equity (CIDE). We, therefore, agreed that our previous identity did not put to the fore these important persuasions.”
She added: “We derive our uniqueness in that we are national democrats who believe in inclusivity among races, tribes, regions, gender, among other things that identify with our common vision as a political party.”
Nobody in London, and indeed in the general discourse today, has sought to unpack this new idea of the cider, sorry, CIDE and nappies, sorry, NPP.
Mujuru has not had the chance to lead in the thought of her new trajectory.
For all we know, NPP was just a knee-jerk reaction to an impending court battle and someone decided to craft some excuse of a policy that reeks of an alcoholic beverage popular with women who also have to contend with nappies as a natural gender remit.
It remains to be tested what Mujuru has to offer, after abandoning the idea to BUILD, (another idea that did not find any compelling uptake).
An important and rather dramatic note has to be made, also.
While we all have been enjoying Mujuru’s poor showing and indeed glaring ineptitude, a particular section of the opposition is even happier as they feel threatened by any good prospects for Joice Mujuru as this may have a bearing on the political economy of the opposition.
It gives them some kind of discomfort when they see Mujuru being Suckered dry at such platforms as HARDTalk.