By Jermaine Ndlovu
Bulawayo, June 18, 2016 – ZIMBABWE People’s First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru finally abandoned her “politics of hibernation” when she held her first ever star rally before an estimated 2000 crowd in Bulawayo on Saturday noon.
Mujuru had surprise guests in People’s Democratic Party (PDP) secretary general Godern Moyo and PDP secretary for policy professor, Philani Moyo.
Zimbabwe’s former Vice President was increasingly coming under pressure from a section of her support base which felt she was keeping too much of a low profile to the detriment of her fledgeling party, raising questions about her commitment to opposition politics.
Since announcing her intentions to gun for President Robert Mugabe’s job in early this year, Mujuru went backstage, leaving many wondering how she intended to win the country’s polls with her passive style of politics.
Former Zanu PF Harare youth chair Jimu Kunaka early this month ditched Mujuru’s party and rejoined Zanu PF claiming the latter’s style of politics lacked adventure and she seemed undecided.
Kunaka said Mujuru was pursuing “politics of hibernation”, in reference to her inactivity.
Probably galvanised by the criticism, Mujuru finally hit the road, staging a rally in the country’s second largest city.
The rally, which was held at Stanley Square in Makokoba Township, was attended by supporters who were mainly clad on white t-shirts inscribed with the party’s identities.
In comments directed at the PDP politicians who attended her rally, Mujuru emphasised unity among the country’s fragmented opposition.
“As opposition parties, we should maximise on our similarities, we are supposed to fight as one for the same cause,” she said.
“Our friends (PDP) are here in solidarity with us; we have to see what’s wrong and where we are getting it wrong as leaders whilst the common people are struggling in the streets.
“Fighting against each other won’t help us and will not free the people; working together will help us. That’s why we are preaching inclusivity, we want inclusivity within government. Our ideology is putting the people first and at the centre before anything else. We are all equal before God.
“I say to Cde Gorden Moyo and others, there is need for political transformation the way politics is being done in Zimbabwe is wrong.”
Moyo, on his part, was full of praise for the axed VP, saying he attended the rally to experience and witness “history in the making”.
“We are here to see it happen, we are here to witness success. Mai Mujuru is a powerful and courageous woman who is brave enough to stand against Mugabe,” said the former state enterprises minister.
“She told us that she wants to build a new Zimbabwe and is willing to work with people with the same motive and we are of the same notion and motive, we are ready to work together,” said Moyo.
In her address, Mujuru also condemned high level corruption which has brought the country’s once thriving economy to its knees.
As she spoke about corruption, her followers chanted Saviour Kasukuwere’s name, implying the Zanu PF political commissar and local government minister was corrupt.
Kasukuwere was in Bulawayo on Thursday to launch a housing project meant to benefit over 7000 Zanu PF youths on the outskirts of the city.
ZimPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire had earlier on fingered Kasukuwere as responsible for trying to disrupt the inaugural ZimPF star rally.
He said Kasukuwere deliberately timed his housing ground breaking ceremony days before the party’s rally in Makokoba.
“Kasukuwere is preparing them (youths) for violence planned against the opposition, it is not that he has realised that these youths need to be empowered,” he said.
Mujuru pleaded with the people to start viewing her as someone who lost her Zanu PF identity and has committed herself to a different cause.
“We are no longer Zanu PF and people should not associate us with them though we once worked with them. This is why it took us a long time to launch our party, we wanted to accommodate everyone who believes in putting the people first,” said Mujuru.