OPPOSITION National People’s Party leader Dr Joice Mujuru comes across as a shallow woman with delusions of grandeur. She has, since her expulsion from the ruling Zanu-PF party at its 2014 elective Congress, shown that she is hopelessly out of her depth in the treacherous political terrain of this country.
From acting like a bitter rejected spouse, she has, like the calamitous character that she is, cantered from one scandal to another. In Zanu-PF, she had enjoyed the express protection of her mentor and father figure, President Mugabe — a man who took it upon himself to nurture her when she returned from the liberation war. Records show that Dr Mujuru was one of the first students who studied for their O-levels at State House under the direction of the President who personally presided over their schooling.
She was appointed to the country’s first Cabinet despite her obvious deficiencies and was to advance her studies under the tutelage of her mentor. This, the President did, under the firm belief that he was advancing the cause of women fighters and Dr Mujuru epitomised that. Being married to the country’s first black army commander, the late Retired General Solomon aka Rex Nhongo, also helped her cause and could account for her meteoric rise within both Zanu-PF and Government.
At the 2004 Zanu-PF Congress held at the Rainbow Towers in Harare, Dr Mujuru was elevated to the Vice Presidency of Zanu-PF and was subsequently appointed the country’s VP by Cde Mugabe. By rising to the second most powerful post in the country, Dr Mujuru thought she had arrived.
She subsequently went about building an empire within both the party and country. Her faction was so powerful it literally ran a parallel structure to that of its parent — Zanu-PF. Whole ministries were reporting to her and at the same time, she built a powerful business empire with her late husband.
Clearly, she was laying the groundwork for her imminent rise to power but had not counted on the wisdom and foresight of her erstwhile mentor — the President. Cde Mugabe had been patiently watching as his protégé flouted every rule in the book as she went about building her empire and deviating from the ethos and values of the party. His patience finally snapped when Dr Mujuru and her cabal sought to usurp his power unconstitutionally and stage a coup.
Thus began the fall from grace for Dr Mujuru. When she formed the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) with other Zanu-PF rejects, it was more out of spite than a desire to serve the people of Zimbabwe. Dr Mujuru’s current utterances where she takes every opportunity to disparage President Mugabe and Zanu-PF, are borne out of bitterness at having been kicked out of the party and denied a chance to seize power using unorthodox means.
Her outlandish claims during an International Women’s Day Commemoration at the London School of Economics on Wednesday during which she said President Mugabe had effectively anointed her successor “only to be sabotaged by male chauvinists and misguided women within Zanu-PF” should be taken in that context. Her remarks are not only preposterous and absurd but are also a figment of her fertile imagination as she was never popularly elected to any position but was a mere beneficiary of President Mugabe’s benevolence and Zanu-PF’s 2004 constitutional amendments.
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.” This would be funny and comical if it were not tragically untrue.
Zanu-PF does not anoint successors and President Mugabe said as much during his 93rd birthday celebrations at Matobo last month. Leaders come from the people and when the time comes, those aspiring for the highest office in the land will be subjected to the ruling party’s internal processes during a Congress — be it extraordinary or ordinary.
Dr Mujuru was never popularly elected to any position in Zanu-PF and should be grateful to President Mugabe for hand-holding her and catapulting her to high positions. Her ploy to play victim in London will not win her any votes in Zimbabwe where the electorate has seen through her ineptitude. Her acrimonious divorce with Messrs Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo whom she accused of sexually harassing her because they called her their “Queen Bee” clearly shows her lack of understanding of basic issues.
A person who does not understand that the Queen Bee is the mother who protects the bee clan and commands respect and authority obviously lacks the acumen needed to lead a nation of sophisticated people like Zimbabwe.