Mujuru goes to London on diplomatic offensive drive

Former vice-president Joice Mujuru’s profile as a major opposition leader is set for a great leap this week when she addresses British legislators in London.

By Everson Mushavam

The National People’s Party (NPP) leader is expected to address British MPs, African ambassadors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and think tanks.

She was in London last October at the invitation of Chatham House — a British-based international think-tank, where she was given an opportunity to explain to the world her vision for Zimbabwe.

Mujuru was leader of a newly-born opposition political party, ZimPF, which she abandoned last week for a new name, NPP, after squabbles with some of the party’s founding stalwarts Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa.

This time, the NPP leader will be visiting London at the invitation of Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, Institute for Global Affairs, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

She will be expected to put aside her problems back home to be one of the panellists at the event to be graced by British MPs.

She will speak at the LSE on the topic, Women leaders on the Global Stage, Lessons for Africa, but will also have an opportunity to interact with British MPs at the meeting to be held in Portcullis House, part of the House of Parliament, according to the programme of events seen by The Standard.

“I am writing to invite you to participate in a public event to be held at LSE on March 7 2017 to celebrate International Women’s Day,” part of the invitation by Tim Allen, Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa director dated October 16 2016 read.

“If you accept this invitation, you will be part of the panel, which includes another female politician from the African continent and a member of civil society organisation working to increase female political representation.”

The event will examine the barriers confronting women political leaders in different countries across Africa and how they can be overcome and what lessons can be taken from women leaders across the globe.

The event will be hosted by Maria Miller MP, the chairperson of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, and Mujuru will have an opportunity to network with invited guests, who include MPs, African ambassadors, academics, LSE African students, as well as representatives of Africa-focused, London-based NGOs and think tanks.

The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

NPP spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire confirmed Mujuru’s London engagements, saying it was an honour for the former VP to interface with some British MPs and other revered African female politicians.

“We are excited that the sterling job that Dr Mujuru has done, and is doing, is being recognised, not only in the country but yonder,” Mawarire said.

“Dr Mujuru is passionate about her work and the uplifting of the girl child, hence, she organised women’s groups in the country to meet and brainstorm on her presentation, sharing ideas on the different experiences that women have in our country.

“She is also excited that the presentation in London, which is going to be attended by a lot of Zimbabwean women in Britain, gives her an opportunity to share with the world and her Zimbabwean counterparts, the section 56 campaign launched by Women’s Coalition, which promotes gender equality and non-discrimination.”

Mujuru is expected to leave the country today and her advance team is already in London ahead of the event. – Standard

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