FORMER Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s emotional, yet cool response to President Robert Mugabe’s allegations of witchcraft shows that she was losing patience and Zanu PF could implode if the unrestrained attacks continue, analysts have said.
By Everson Mushava
Mugabe at the weekend while celebrating his 91st birthday in Victoria Falls accused his former deputy of soliciting the services of two Nigerian sangomas to perform rituals to kill him using supernatural powers.
But Mujuru on Monday said Mugabe’s tired and inconsistent allegations were mere “presidential fancy and lies”, adding she was a Christian and would never resort to witchcraft.
Media and democracy analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya said Mugabe’s continuous attack has sipped patience from his former deputy. He said the party was likely to implode as Mujuru would soon retaliate in kind.
“She will return fire with fire. In fact, she has already done so, although in a polite way,” Ruhanya said.
“There could be an internal rupture in Zanu PF which could be good for democracy. The discord showing in the political arena, if it will be the same in the military, Zimbabwe is heading for exciting moments.”
He added: “The neopatrimonial activities of this regime will assist the State to move on. Our hope is that these problems get deeper and cascade to the ordinary structures of the party and I don’t doubt that these differences are cascading down from the elite to the grassroots structures.”
Ruhanya said Mujuru was civil in her response, but would not likely do the same with anyone who is not Mugabe.
Mujuru has been the victim of a barrage of attacks from Mugabe, his wife Grace, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and some top ruling Zanu PF officials. She has mostly kept quiet, but on Monday she warned that her silence should not be mistaken for weakness or guilt.
Political analyst Dewa Mavhinga said: “Clearly, and rightly so, Amai Mujuru is losing patience, but she is also boldly proclaiming her innocence and her preparedness to defend herself in any forum. Her response is measured and reveals a high degree of political sophistication.”
He added: “I salute Mujuru for her stance and I am sure many people will respect her for her wise, polite, but clearly defiant response to Mugabe. Different groups in Zimbabwe, especially Mujuru’s church the Salvation Army, and the women’s movement, should publicly show solidarity with her in this dark hour of persecution.”
Mavhinga said Mujuru’s statement was “emotional and heartrending yet a dignified and powerful response to persistent malicious and maligning accusations by Mugabe which are clearly based on rumours”.
“Under very difficult circumstances, Mujuru is demonstrating true leadership by refusing to reduce herself to a mudslinging match with Mugabe and his wife Grace who opened the floodgates of vicious verbal attacks on her.”
Obert Gutu, spokesperson for the main opposition MDC-T, said although his party “has no dog in Zanu PF fights,” it was evident Mujuru was fed up with Mugabe’ vitriolic attacks.
He said the MDC-T was rubbing its hands in glee as infighting escalated in Zanu PF and was warming up to establishing the next government.