As Zimbabwe marks 36 years of independence from Britain today, former Vice President Joice Mujuru has described President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF as “a dying regime that shall never again win a national democratic election” because it had “devoured” the dreams of long-suffering citizens.
In a hard-hitting statement yesterday to mark Independence Day, Mujuru let rip at Mugabe and Zanu PF — declaring boldly that come the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, new kid on the political block — her Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) — would form the next government.
“There is now an implosion within the once seemingly invincible and unstoppable Zanu PF machine. The ruthless monster has run out of ideas and is now devouring its own children.
“These are tell-tale signs of a dying regime that shall never again win a national democratic election,” Mujuru — who was hounded out of Zanu PF in late 2014 together with her close party allies on trumped up charges of plotting to oust and assassinate Mugabe — said.
Pointing to the country’s dying economy, the widow of the late liberation struggle icon, General Solomon Mujuru, said it was disheartening that a country that was once described as a “jewel of Africa” was now a derided basket case — infamous for its leaders’ misrule and corruption.
Mujuru also took issue with Zanu PF youths’ planned and factional one-million man march in alleged support of Mugabe, saying this was a complete waste of time as the most pressing issue facing the country was the dying economy, as well as the ruling party’s well-documented misrule and failures.
She said it was a shame that Zanu PF’s youths had been “turned into political killing machines that are used to prop up a regime that has become unpopular and lost touch with reality”.
Echoing what opposition leader and former prime minister in the government of national unity, Morgan Tsvangirai, has repeatedly complained about, Mujuru said Zanu PF subsisted on a “culture of political intolerance and State-sponsored violence”.
Her sentiments came in the wake of reports that several ZPF leaders — almost all of whom are former Zanu PF bigwigs — were being threatened with eviction from their farms as the “vindictive” ruling party sought to punish them for stampeding to Mujuru’s party.
“Any opposition party that mounts a credible challenge . . . to Zanu PF does so at the risk of exposing its members to intimidation and victimisation,”she observed ruefully.
And in yet another pointed jibe at Zanu PF, Mujuru said the ruling party — which has in turn dismissed ZPF as a fly-by-night organisation that will soon disintegrate — had lost its mojo.
“36 years after independence, we celebrate a revolution that has lost its glow and direction,” she said, adding that the dreams and hopes that had driven many young people to join the liberation struggle in the 1970s had been deferred.
She said this as more than three million people face hunger and starvation, as the cash-strapped Zanu PF government struggles to mobilise enough resources to feed the masses.
Mujuru said what was especially galling to many was that Zanu PF had crassly destroyed the once vibrant “agriculture sector”, with many ruling party bigwigs owning several farms — almost all of them lying idle.
“Bad policies and corruption have devastated this important sector. Some bigwigs own huge multiple farms when many of our people remain landless. Most of these farms lie idle or are badly administered.
“Of late, youth leaders talk of repossessing the farms of all those who do not support Zanu PF and use them to reward those who prop up the regime by violent means.
“The proponents of these strategies have a myopic view of politics. They take people for granted and are self-deceiving,” the former long-serving number two to Mugabe thundered.
The only hope, she observed, was that most Zimbabweans were now completely fed up of Mugabe’s tyrannical quest to remain “in power at all cost”.
“Service delivery in Zimbabwe is pathetic to say the least. Our hospitals are understaffed and without drugs. The general image of our civil servants, not forgetting our uniformed forces, has been badly tarnished.
“What boggles the mind is that instead of marching in protest against the government, whose policies have impoverished our country, the youths are instead mobilising a march in support of the leadership that has failed the nation. We urge all Zimbabweans to shun this ill-conceived initiative,” she said.
Turning to war veterans, who are now divided along Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable factional and succession lines, Mujuru said the former freedom fighters did not deserve to be treated in the manner that they were being “mistreated”.
“Please, accept that our revolution has gone astray and you should not allow yourself to be used and be abused (like this),” she implored the disaffected ex-combatants. daily news