HARARE – Former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) outfit’s political weight will be put to test in two weeks’ time when her party participates in the Bikita West by-election.
By Mugove Tafirenyika
With opposition parties under pressure to perform from Zimbabweans who have suffered for more than three decades at the hands of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF due to their misrule, many people are waiting to see what value Mujuru — the nonagenarian’s former second-in-command — will bring to opposition politics.
Since her brutal ouster from both Zanu PF and the government in late 2014, as well as her subsequent formation of ZPF the following year, Mujuru has been shying away from participating in such polls — leading cynics to say that this was because she still harboured ambitions to return to the ruling party.
ZPF and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC have, together with other smaller parties, coalesced under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda, where they are demanding electoral reforms to level the playing field which they say is heavily tilted in favour of Zanu PF.
But a confident ZPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire, told the Daily News yesterday that his party would win the Bikita West by-election, in which their candidate is Kudakwashe Gopo.
“We have lined up the president’s (Mujuru’s) rallies in the constituency in the coming few days and our campaign is going on well. Our message of peaceful engagement to build our country is resonating well with the people of Bikita West,” Mawarire said.
In a previous interview with the Daily News, Mawarire has also rubbished the possibility of Mujuru re-joining Zanu PF, saying that it did not make sense for her to do this as their party has, since its formation, grown in leaps and bounds to a size bigger than the ruling party’s.
“Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) has grown bigger than Zanu PF. It will be folly for someone in the case of Mai Mujuru, who started a political party that is bigger than Zanu PF to even contemplate going back to Zanu PF which is disintegrating every other day.
“If she were to go back to Zanu PF, which Zanu PF will she go to, because there are so many splinter groups. There is Lacoste, G40, Grace, Mugabe and his group and expelled war veterans on the other hand,” Mawarire said. – Daily News