Mujuru Disappears | ANALYSIS

17

“…she was escorted out through the back door and vanished into …London…”

Lloyd Msipa| I was one of the many people  invited to the International Think Tank, Chatham House in London, England to hear Dr Joice Mujuru, president of Zimbabwe

Deep Legal Analyses....Lloyd Msipa
Deep Legal Analyses….Lloyd Msipa

People First deliver her paper on the 6th of October. The discussion topic was – How opposition politics is changing in Zimbabwe. The meeting was chaired by the Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former UK Foreign Secretary between 1995 to 1997. The audience was  comprised of academics, politicians from Zimbabwe’s different political parties, diplomats, activists and permanent members of the think tank who seemed keen to hear what former Mugabe’s second in command had to say. I think I also noticed others who appeared to be former Zimbabwean commercial farmers who I suppose their own reasons for being there were land related. Outside the premises was a handful of demonstrators holding up placards with messages inscribed “Mugabe must go” to “Where is the 15 billion” and “Where is the Diamond money” amongst others.

So, the expectation from Dr Joice Mujuru was very high. After she delivered her speech there was a question and answer session of which upon conclusion, she was escorted out through the back door and vanished into the London night. It has taken me a few days to write this piece mainly because I needed time to think through what she said that night and the answers she gave to the numerous questions that were put to her.

First thing that came to my mind that night was a simple acknowledgement to myself, that indeed- Mugabe is definitely a hard act to follow. At his best or at the age Dr Mujuru is at now, Mugabe would have brought Chatham House down.  Dr Mujuru read her speech. The speech had all the right things written in there, but it was clear that she took no part in writing it. It was delivered with such mediocrity. The looks on the faces of some of the people in the audience was priceless. It was clear that she was indeed out of her depth in this role.

In the body of her speech she referred to all the right things that include respect for the Constitution, the new citizen driven opposition and the need for the new leadership that takes over from Mugabe to be young enough to bridge the “generational disconnect” in order for Zimbabwe to move forward. To drive her point home she pointed out that Mugabe and his two deputies, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko were too old to understand what was required to bridge this “generational disconnect.” I was left wondering as to where she placed herself in this whole matrix considering she has been in government herself for over thirty six years. Can she honestly bring something new to Zimbabwe after thirty six years or should Zimbabweans of my generation be looking elsewhere for the salvation of our dear country?

The contradiction to her assertion to have young leaders was further contradicted as one looked at the Zimbabwe People First team members travelling with her. Literally all of them were re-cycled leaders expelled with her from ZANU PF. There was no visible new blood in her team; conspicuous by his absence was Sylvester Nguni, her number two whilst in government and until recently appeared to have been running the new political party.

The question and answer session that came after the delivery of her paper not only left many in the audience doubtful of her leadership abilities, but literally destroyed whatever zeal many had for her. Utmost in my mind as I listened to the way she handled the questions put to her was, how can someone spend thirty six years with Robert Mugabe in government, ten years as his number two and nothing rubs off? I was expecting her to have at least picked up on some of the etiquette that comes with being at the very top, how to handle questions and people in general.

How to answer questions, what to acknowledge and what to dismiss. For instance, the issue of “trust” was central to most of the questions that were put to her. She was asked several times why she should be trusted with the position of President and the term limits that go with it. Her only predominant response was “I am a mother trust me”. – This did not go down well with the professionals in the audience. My friend next to me whispered, “yeah, but we trusted Mugabe and where did it land us?” She backed up her need to be trusted by referring to the fact that she was working with opposition leaders and therefore she was a trustworthy candidate. In my mind, I was thinking but Morgan Tsvangirai just changed the party constitution to appoint new Vice Presidents—so her reference to Morgan Tsvangirai was a bad one.

The evening question and answer session came to a head when she was pressed by the convener Sir Malcolm Rifkind if she accepted any responsibility for the decisions made by her government in the period she was Mugabe’s number two. She refused to accept culpability, save to say “merely by association”, but never through active participation. With this response I literally, I mean literally saw jaws dropping amongst the people in the audience. A hard sale indeed. How can a number two, a whole Vice president not be privy to the decisions made in cabinet and the politburo of which she attended religiously? The deception was not lost amongst the activists amongst the audience who quickly dismissed this apparent deception and demanded she tells them the whereabouts of Itai Dzamara in order for the country to move forward and possibly consider forgiving her for the roles she played in all the violations her government was accused of committing.

I was left thinking. Yes, she means well, but she is definitely not the one to lead Zimbabweans to the Promised Land. She doesn’t have the right temperament and neither is she astute enough to lead. She came across as rudimentary and a simpleton. Surely with these attributes Mugabe or ZANU PF will have her for breakfast in the 2018 elections. I understand that before Chatham House she met a former Zimbabwe commercial farmer who previously owned the farm she owns now and she personally promised him compensation for the farm that she and her husband acquired. This was a fundamental mistake and as a war-veteran I would have assumed she would have known better than to negotiate over property leased to her by the State. This will definitely send the wrong message to the people of Zimbabwe whose, lest we forget was the primary reason they went to war on behalf of.

Yes, Zimbabwe is burning. Zimbabwe needs a Moses, but it is definitely not Mujuru. Someone suggested that she would do well if she finds relevance in the Zimbabwe socio-economic scene and not politics. I am compelled to agree. Zimbabwe needs a leader who will generate that young people connect. That leader will have to come from the relevant generation. Anybody in the sixties going forward is not what Zimbabwe is looking for. The Zimbabwe of today belongs to the current generation; the leader must come from there. The leader must not be a recycled individual or set of individuals. Considering where we have have been and were we want to go as a nation, I am left wondering if Dr Joice Mujuru will not prove to be a hard sale both domestically and internationally as she refuses to acknowledge her skeletons.

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  • blarazonke

    The name of the party is totally misplaced considering her history and upbringing. She can’t even accommodate her husbands “illegitimate” children on sharing the ill gotten loot. Mutasa is on tape telling Zimbos to vacate the country if they did not want Mugabe as president. Now we are People First, my foot.~!!!!

  • sinewe

    OK, it is this kind of articles, written by a diasporean who doesn’t care a wink about the plight of our fellow countrymen. Who cares what Mujuru has done? Who is not scandalous? Look at the so called man of the people Tsvangirai, bed-ridden and lacks any motivative tactic ever since his GNU sellout and horny Gumbura fashion act. He betrayed the struggle. 2009 was the true year of change.
    Now, Dr Mujuru is no saint, but compared to hungry Tsvangirai, she is a better devil.

  • steve blomefield

    Mujuru has surrounded herself by the very thieves and murderers who have caused us so much tears and poverty. I say to Mujuru… get rid of those who washed their hands in the blood of the children of Zimbabwe and then and only then can we think about you. Choose new people, christian people with a concern for the community, not failed also rans.

  • Mkwambo

    Saka iwe nekuziva kwako chihuwa utibvisire chembere iyi yatinetsa. Right now even a nguruve at the helm will do me.

  • Grace Jones

    Mujuru is not hpresident material. Do not be so desperate

  • sinewe

    I am entitled to my choice. Not out of desperation, but what rationale will anyone or anything use to weigh one dustbin as more smelly than the other, if it is not for the fact that it all rests in the nose’s beholder. We are at that point in time now. Tsvangson Gumbura (well, nothing much left of him anyway, he chose his own demise! ) , only if the firebrand Chamisa was not being sidelined and plotted against, one would wake up and stretch relaxed in the mornings, but alas, the dictator in making has other plans. Or even Our Lady , the deputy president, but alas, she is being suppressed. So ain’t I desperate, oh yes I am. I cannot fight to remove a dictator, only to replace him with a hungry one. OMDB!

  • todiizvazvo

    Nhai iwe Msipa, chiuya zve iwe uite zvepolitics tigo kuvhotera.If u think u are young to steer us out this mess.Other wise let this woman give us an alternative to ZANU.Guys u are good at writing stories and powerful critics in the paper,that will not help us anyhow,Come home and vote then maybe u might make a change,nxaaa!

  • godfrey

    I am not an apologist for Dr. Mujuru but I do not find the comparison made between her and president Mugabe innocuous.Comrade Joy, like any other living person, is not perfect. But she makes one point very clear; That standing up to Mugabe within and outside the party has never an easy thing for any one. And that she is now, late as it might seem for some, is not something to be dismissed at face value. So any one who makes some sort of stand and strikes a blow against the monolith becomes some sort of a hero. If I may digress a little, I would dare say the reason why Zanupf and, by extension, the country is in the perilous state that it finds itself is precisely because Mugabe never had an equal within that party to keep in check the worst of the usual human instincts. Now, back to the Mujuru character and performance in London- I am not too sure that it would be fair and just to judge her on the basis of a single event and using her nemesis flawless or near-perfect public speaking exploits of yesteryear as a yardstick. The reason why Zimbabwe is in its sad socioeconomic and political state is not because it lacks ‘rhetors’ par excellence. On the contrary good public speakers are in abundance and what is needed are well-meaning men and women, people of good deeds. Not crooks, and I must admit we have an oversupply of these. Not even Robin Hoods will do for Zimbabwe! But men and women of action, who are prepared to work with their hands and minds in the service of their country- inventors, innovators and architects etc.

  • Zanu yawora

    You are a confused idiot. Just shutup you buffoon

  • sinewe

    Oh no, did I strike an insulting nerve? Get well soon. Ukarwadziwa namai Dr Mujuru haupore. As for shutting up, really? On this platform? Go and play elsewhere, this is a place for great minds

  • Petros Magomazi

    I stopped reading this article midway after I realized that our people never learn some of life’s lessons. When we talk of leadership or when we are looking for leaders we should not confuse that skill with oratory skills. If talking and presenting speeches was going to put food on our tables, Zimbabwe would be the richest country in Africa. We do not need an orator but rather someone who can lead a revolution to remove Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe period.
    The other aspect that really disappointed me is trying to suggest that any person who was in Zanu PF is accountable for all the actions and crimes committed by Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe. That assertion shows that Mr. Msipa has not been in Zimbabwe for too long. Everyone knows that Mugabe does not consult anyone and he makes all the decisions and everyone follows. Do you think that they had a meeting to discuss Gukurahundi? Do you think all the mysterious deaths of opposition politicians and even some Zanu politicians were decided in a meeting? Let us not be childish and let us not apply Western standards to an organization that does espouse Western principles. Until you have proof that she was responsible then you cannot dismiss her denial simply because she was number 2. In some instances being number 2 actually means that you have less power because you do not have a portfolio as you are forced to work through number one. Lastly, if you are suggesting that Mai Mujuru is not the right person then offer the nation a viable alternative. That person should have political clout to dislodge Zanu PF from power in the next election. If you do not have then please keep your opinions to yourself.

  • Goodlife Lynus

    Well said, I concur.

  • peacelover

    perfect mr magomazi these form six drop outs analysts has this tendency of schoolising their thoughts without consideration despite that facts are clear on the playing board .one thing for sure is mujuru was handy picked by Mugabe only to block ngwena from moving up the ladder not vise- versa by so doing the poor mujuru couldn’t have the audacity to tell Mugabe to order . the beast has a longtime political plan, just to die in office klaar .. haven’t you heard Mugabe saying this. you think he is joking .so blaming mujuru for whatever you can imagine displays the absents information . this chaotic situation in zanu pf benefits Mugabe in a big way ..(divide and rule) at this juncture mujuru is our Moses, taking us to the promised land .. I strongly believe the nation including mr maposa prefers mujuru than Mugabe too lead the nation

  • Petros Magomazi

    If you want to know what happened to the case that you are referring to, you can go to court and demand the same. As for the ill gotten gains, you can submit the proof of the same at the nearest police station. By the way there is no rule that says everyone who is rich must have gathered their wealth illegally. Further, it will be unusual for a minister of many years to be poor. In fact it will be laughable if that were to happen.

  • PasinaNgomoDISSIDENTPasinaMpho

    thank you …! someone sees sense

    what is the point of ‘speechefying’ for 36 years and have ruin and desolation to show for it

  • PasinaNgomoDISSIDENTPasinaMpho

    so we are to make something of speech readers of the last 36 years! mere speech readers — empty vessels of the last 36 years!! all of them!

    come Msipa, don’t be this bored man … the Queen walks her dog(s) from time to time, might be worth a consideration to beat your boredom

    the fact that this one can’t read a speech is exactly immaterial … she is still one – cut out from that old block too!

  • Cde Rex

    Vana Lloyd, you are a fraudster yourself with a criminal record of duping asylum seekers in the UK where you are still holed up. Amai Mujuru is still to be charged of any offence let alone being convicted. You may be younger that Mujuru but you are certainly not leadership material & will never be. People will know how you started in Zanu PF, dabbled with opposition politics and even sort to thrust yourself in Zapu leadership position there in the UK but they would not even have you. You are a chancer of the most notable proportions. Stop trying to seek relevance zvisina basa by denigrating anybody & everybody involved in opposition. You have delusions of grandeur mupfana wami, is it not time you grew up.