OPPOSITION parties have challenged former Vice-President Joice Mujuru to come clean on her claims that she was unaware of Zanu PF’s election rigging machinery although she had been in the system until her expulsion from both government and the ruling party in 2014.
by XOLISANI NCUBE
Mujuru recently claimed in an interview with a United Kingdom-based newspaper, The Sunday Times, that she was unaware of the alleged election rigging machinery, adding if indeed it occurred, “it was a very small clique that was doing it”.
But MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Mujuru was being “economical with the truth”, as she was part of the system that plotted the rigging and she should help the country in exposing “the evil machinations perpetrated by Zanu PF”.
“It’s really difficult to believe what Mujuru is saying on election rigging, considering her position then both in the party and government. She is being economical with the truth, at least in our view. Instead of trying to cover-up for the evil machinations that have been perpetrated, she should help us expose this charade that has caused the untold suffering of many Zimbabweans through rigging,” he said.
Gutu said while Mujuru was welcome to join the opposition ranks, she should be aware of and be prepared to face the “brutality of Zanu PF”.
“She has to be prepared to face the brutal regime which thrives on intimidating people and at times, raping our women, torturing them and destroying people’s property. She has to brace for that,” Gutu said.
People‘s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the former VP should tell the truth unless she was “an innocent beneficiary of the rigging system”.
“I hope she was joking because for us in the opposition, she has no value. We want someone who knows that elections were rigged, how, by who and how they can be stopped. But we believe she is lying. Believing that Mujuru does not know that elections were rigged is like believing that there are two suns circulating mother earth,” Mafume said.
Mujuru, who now leads the opposition Zimbabwe People First, was kicked out of both government and Zanu PF on allegations of plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe, a charge she has persistently denied.
Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said although Mujuru could have been kept in the dark by the State machinery due to her perceived links to the opposition as far back as 2008, it would be difficult for ordinary people to believe that she did not know how elections were rigged.
“It’s a challenge that she has to deal with, because no one will accept her explanation when everyone suspects that the 2013 elections were rigged,” he said.
“For a person who understands Zanu PF politics, it should be known that Mujuru was being suspected then that she could be working with the opposition and also claims that she never wanted elections to be held then. It could be true that she was kept in the dark.
“People should give her the benefit of the doubt on that matter because this rigging was not done by the party or formal government structures, but by a clique which managed and monitored this Israeli group [Nikuv] that carried out the rigging.”
The opposition has accused the Mugabe-led government of manipulating election results in successive elections held since independence in 1980.