Gukurahundi visit exposes Mujuru hypocrisy
THE Gukurahundi revisionist mission by Zimbabwe People First leader Dr Joice Mujuru, who recently revealed plans to visit mass graves in Matabeleland for political mileage, should be condemned in the strongest terms. Addressing party supporters in Gwanda last Saturday, Dr Mujuru blamed President Mugabe for being the cause of war veterans’ alleged misery.
The 1980s disturbances, a dark period in the country’s history, have always been fodder for opposition parties who want to use the emotive issue to gain support in the Matabeleland region.
Dr Mujuru is the latest to join that band wagon of the political opportunists who want to try and win votes in the region by opening old wounds.
What is ironic if not baffling however, is that Dr Mujuru has served as a member of Government in a number of portfolios since the country’s Independence in 1980 and has never mentioned anything about the period.
She served as the country’s Vice President for 10 years until her expulsion from Zanu PF in 2015 over allegations of leading a faction plotting to overthrow President Mugabe. In that decade, she said nothing about the issue. Now after her expulsion from Zanu-PF and exit from the Government, Dr Mujuru wants to make people believe that she was either voiceless in the government or was a passive member.
She pretends not to know of the December 22, 1987 Unity Accord that brought together Zapu and Zanu under the banner of Zanu-PF that has won successive elections to date.
Dr Mujuru’s selective amnesia appears to be a ploy to give people an impression that she has also forgotten the words of President Mugabe at the burial of Dr Joshua Nkomo when he described the dark period as a moment of madness.
Suddenly it has slipped her mind that her late counterpart in the government, the late Cde John Nkomo headed the National Healing and Reconciliation brief.
She now wants to revisit the Gukurahundi issue as if the Government that she was part of for more than 30 years has never done anything about it.
What Dr Mujuru should know however, is that her attempts to use the emotive Gukurahundi issue to win supporters in the region will come to naught.
Other parties have tried it, the MDCs have tried it, some NGOs too but the result has been the same, the people have refused to let chancers play around with their emotions.
Before Mujuru’s Gwanda address, party moles had revealed that she held a secret meeting at a house in Bulawayo’s eastern suburbs where she asked people to tell her the problems they were facing.
Despite being in the government for more than three decades, Dr Mujuru reportedly told the meeting that she was not the head of the government until her sacking, hence she wanted to hear from the people.
But a quick reminder is the Bulawayo kraal project in Binga which was adopted and abandoned by Dr Mujuru during her time in the government to the point of near collapse.
It took the timely efforts of the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, to save the project from sinking.
There is this tendency by expelled members of the ruling Zanu-PF to play to the gallery of enemies of the State by presenting themselves as naive riders in the system and whose point of enlightenment is ignited by their expulsion.
The ZimPF leader wants to hide behind her mentor President Mugabe for her failures in the government yet it is clear that despite massive hand holding by one of Africa’s greatest statesmen, she did not learn anything.
Now, to attract foreign funding, Dr Mujuru wants to portray the man she called father as an evil being.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Information Media and Broadcasting Services, Mr George Charamba, recently said of Dr Mujuru’s actions:
“After Independence, President Mugabe, then as Prime Minister, appointed Teurai Ropa Nhongo (Dr Mujuru) as a minister of Government.
“By her own admission, she felt illequipped a n d of undeserving of the appointment, but only obliged at the insistence of Cde R G Mugabe who hand-held her all the way, including helping her resume her schooling within the precincts of Zimbabwe House. ‘‘She has a lot to be grateful for to the man she now vilifies.” Dr Mujuru has already been warned about provoking history. While commenting on war veterans, she had forgotten about her much publicised disability claims. She looted the War Victims’ Compensation Fund for freedom fighters by claiming she suffered 55 percent disability in the war. Dr Mujuru collected a cool Z$389 472 valued in excess of US$40 000 at the time. Now she wants to pretend to champion the cause of war veterans. She later returned the money after she was exposed by the media. As Vice President, Dr Mujuru never engaged the liberation struggle fighters but suddenly she wants to remember them now because she is in the rain? President Mugabe on the other hand, the patron of the war veterans, has pushed for empowerment programmes for former liberation fighters. Not only did he ensure that they get their pensions and monthly gratuities, President Mugabe has made sure that the government pays for the war vets children’s school fees. Under the leadership of President Mugabe, war veterans have benefited from the land reform exercise where a specific quota was set aside for the liberation fighters just to mention a few interventions.
What did Mujuru do during her tenure besides entertaining the illusion that she could fill President Mugabe’s big shoes? Nothing.
Dr Mujuru, who wants to play hero, has instead been accused by former colleagues in the ruling Zanu-PF of frustrating government programmes as she angled herself to succeed President Mugabe.
“What we can now confidently describe as the Mujuru factor emerged and caused pre-occupation.
“This was the first major attack that shrunk the policy space because clearly the Mujuru factor had a different agenda of grabbing power,” said Zanu-PF politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo recently.
“The people associated with that cabal were not preoccupied with policy implementation, they were preoccupied with power grabbing and it is very dangerous the day after an election to be preoccupied with grabbing power.
“It quickly builds inertia in the system especially where you can create impressions that have trappings of believability.”
Prof Moyo said a number of members of the Mujuru cabal were crafty in creating falsehoods to the effect that she was anointed to take over from President Mugabe singling out Mr Didymus Mutasa and Mr Rugare Gumbo as peddlers of those lies.
The Tsholotsho North legislator said the overtures by the Mujuru cabal after the elections to the 2014 Congress in December frustrated the Government’s policy implementation drive with some deliberately working against the country.
The Gukurahundi story will not sell Dr Mujuru, her opposition colleagues should advise her better.
Dr Joice Mujuru