Mujuru: putting cart before the horse

Nduduzo Tshuma Political Editor
THE odd publishing of the Joice Mujuru’s BUILD “manifesto” has revealed the confusion in the deposed Vice President’s camp as rarely does the formation of a political party follow its manifesto, analysts have said. Mujuru had disappeared from the public spotlight since her unceremonious departure from the government last year after she was fingered to have led a plot to unseat President Robert Mugabe through a coup or by assassinating him.

“There’s nothing amazing about this project. Already, indications are that the only thing that can be attributed to Mujuru on that document is her name, surname and the full stop. It’s, however, the [Mujuru] cabal’s choice to launch the manifesto ahead of their party, but one thing for certain is they’re doomed to fail,” said a political commentator based in Bulawayo, who preferred anonymity.

The manifesto, titled “Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development”(BUILD), is said to have originated from the top leadership of MDC Renewal that broke away from the MDC-T.

Even the party’s constitution, sources said, was penned in that party. Insiders say negotiations are still ongoing with the Tendai Biti-led Renewal party with plans to incorporate its Bulawayo structures into the doom-bound People First project.

“The Renewal party, we’re told, is banking on a number of Non-Governmental Organisations in the city linked to one of the party executives with a history of rallying support for the opposition. But that strategy could face problems if reports that the said NGOs are already facing collapse from poor funding are anything to go by,” added the political commentator.

The MDC Renewal denied penning the Mujuru constitution and manifesto with party interim chairperson, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, saying they will soon launch their own economic blueprint.

Zanu-PF politburo member, Professor Jonathan Moyo, noted on Twitter the similarities in Mujuru’s language in the manifesto to that of the opposition parties especially on the land question, security sector reforms, indigenisation and the role of traditional chiefs. This gave credence to claims that some remnants of the MDC-T had a hand in its drafting.

Prof Moyo said Mujuru’s project was offering nothing new to Zimbabweans as it was just regurgitating MDC-T’s failed manifesto.

“Zanu-PF will never produce such an anti-Zimbabwe and treacherous document against land reform and indigenisation. Gamatox [derisive name for Mujuru’s faction while still in Zanu-PF] has stolen a failed MDC-T manifesto with indigenisation and land reform as the targets,” he said.

Ironically, Mujuru in her manifesto talks about reviving irrigation schemes in the country when she failed to do that while serving in the Zanu-PF government as Water Minister. Among the gigantic projects she saw decline under her watch was the Lobengula Kraal Irrigation scheme in Binga that was recently saved by First Lady Cde Grace Mugabe from total collapse.

Cropping at the 10,000-hectare irrigation scheme in Binga is now set to start soon, raising hopes of improved food security in the drought-prone district.

Mujuru was charged with overseeing the Bulawayo Kraal project when she was still in the government when she launched it in 2006. Now, she wants to convince Zimbabweans that she was waiting to leave the government before she addresses the issue of irrigation schemes – inevitably inviting questions on her sincerity.

The greatest reason Zimbabweans will ignore Mujuru’s two-page document is the government’s 10-point plan for reviving the country’s economy recently outlined by President Robert Mugabe in his State of the Nation Address in Parliament.

The practical plan that targets vital sectors of the economy has shaken the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T with one of its senior leaders Tapiwa Mashakada making sensational claims that the ruling Zanu-PF had pilfered their ideas.

The troubled party, sent into panic mode after the 10-point plan was unveiled, conceded that the Zanu-PF strategy to revive the economy would not only work but would assure the ruling party of another victory, come the 2018 elections.

The Mujuru project, according to analysts, is already doomed by its self-defeating strategy of launching a manifesto before launching the actual party.

The project was always ill-fated and is most likely to face a similar demise as Simba Makoni’s Mavambo Kusile Dawn project, they said.

Political analyst and former MDC spokesperson, Nhlanhla Dube, said the fact that Mujuru had not come out to own the document was problematic in terms of their entire project being taken seriously.

“Until Mujuru comes out in the open and takes ownership, she will be seen as an unwilling or rather scared leader,” said Dube.

“To wait until a vision is launched without owning it will impact negatively on Mujuru. When the Republicans voted (US President Barack) Obama to be their presidential representative, he was the one to announce their campaign phrase “Yes We Can”, which is popular till this day. The candidate introduced the slogan and not the other way round.” Dube said the failed strategy by Mujuru and her cabal would only serve to dump her into the already “flooded sea of political presidents, not necessarily of realistic political parties.”

Questions remain on why Mujuru is reluctant to come out in the open and challenge the ruling Zanu-PF. Cde Chris Mutsvangwa’s revelations of Mujuru’s exaggerated war credentials would sure have planted seeds of doubt in her capacity to take on the ruling party without exposing her bottom.

For many years, Mujuru has enjoyed the false war credentials that she downed a helicopter during the liberation struggle with two guns, until Cde Mutsvangwa set the record straight last year exposing how the former Vice President had embellished her war record. No cadre was ever issued two guns, he pointed out.

“The problems affecting Zimbabwe can never be addressed by those of false war heroics, false manifestos. Mujuru should have learnt from the United African Council, Zimbabwe Unity Movement, the MDC and the many formations that broke away from it,” said Alfred Mhiri, a resident of Gokwe Town.

“Her project, like the above mentioned failed political parties, will never match the mettle of Zanu-PF and President Robert Mugabe.”

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