Harare – Zimbabwe’s former deputy president, now leader of the Zimbabwe Peoples First (ZimPF), Joice Mujuru has showered the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai with praises.
According to NewsDay, speaking to her supporters in the United Kingdom, Mujuru described Tsvangirai as “brave” for taking on long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe since 1999 “when it was perceived as too risky to challenge” the veteran leader.
Mujuru said that Zimbabweans should thank Tsvangirai for his “bravery” as he stood tall and challenged Mugabe.
“Zimbabweans should thank Tsvangirai and his team. They taught us courage, that we did not have, something that even shocked us in Zanu-PF regardless of the fact that I am a trained soldier.
“He understood that the liberation struggle was fought to bring us freedom to challenge our leaders. Mugabe lost direction of the values of the liberation struggle long back, but we could not challenge him internally because we feared him and for me it was also because I was young,” Mujuru was quoted as saying.
However, over the weekend, Nathaniel Manheru, who is believed to be presidential spokesperson George Charamba took a swipe at the former Mugabe ally.
Writing in a piece published in the state-owned Herald newspaper, Manheru said that Mujuru was never capable of leading while she was in the ruling Zanu-PF party, thus, she would still fail in her new role of opposition politics.
Manheru further said that this was demonstrated by the fact that Mugabe did not trust her enough to send her on her own to important foreign trips despite her being his deputy for ten years.
“My views about Joice and her extra-territorial fixtures are well known and have been shared with you the reader. Simply she is not yet ready, indeed may never be ready for such fixtures which is why President Robert Mugabe never used to send her on taxing external missions during her tenure as vice president. Yes , she could go represent the party and government on symbolic and structured events – the handshake in-a crowd kind of meetings – but never on missions that needed input,” Manheru wrote.
Mujuru was expelled from Zanu-PF in 2014 on allegations of plotting to kill Mugabe.