Zimbabwe People First Leader Dr Joice Mujuru got a rude awakening at her maiden rally in Masvingo when she was forced to address an almost empty Mucheke Stadium as people in the country’s oldest town largely ignored her on Saturday. Dr Mujuru, who was fired from Zanu-PF for trying to overthrow President Mugabe, addressed about 2 000 people at what was billed to be her party’s star rally.
Before the rally, Masvingo was touted as a ZPF stronghold as some of the so-called heavyweights of the party such as former Zanu-PF Politburo members Dzikamai Mavhaire and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti come from the province.
The poor attendance at the weekend rally showed the party still has a long way to go. In her address, Dr Mujuru claimed that transporters who had been hired to ferry people to the stadium had been intimidated.
The former Vice President was at pains to articulate any policy initiatives by her party as she promised to embark on the dualisation of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway if her party was voted into power.
Dr Mujuru said Zimbabwe was riddled with corruption that had caused the collapse of the country’s economy and accused the zanu-PF Government of using land to gain political mileage.
ZPF Masvingo provincial co-ordinator Retired Colonel Claudious Makova, in his address, equated Dr Mujuru to the biblical Joshua who would take the people of Zimbabwe to Canaan once voted into power.
Dr Mujuru’s rally at Mucheke was shunned by other opposition parties such as the MDC-T which did not send representatives despite reports of an impending “grand coalition” of opposition forces to fight Zanu-PF in the 2018 elections.
Only the People’s Democratic Party fronted by Mr Tendai Biti was represented by its deputy secretary-genera,l Mr Tongai Matutu, who was not seated at the high table, but was introduced to the crowd by Dr Mujuru at the end of her address.
Also in attendance were Messrs Mavhaire, Sylvester Nguni, Kudzai Mbudzi and Ms Margaret Dongo. The party’s so-called founding elders Messrs Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo were conspicuous by their absence. herald