HARARE – Former Vice President Joice Mujuru has described President Robert Mugabe’s administration as immoral and presiding over a lethargic and dying economy, throwing the majority of Zimbabweans into abject poverty.
In her New Year’s message to Zimbabweans yesterday the popular widow of the late liberation struggle icon, Solomon Mujuru, slammed Mugabe and his post-congress Zanu PF for being clueless and unable to extricate the country from the current economic abyss.
“As a nation, we are confronted by a sluggish and dying economy, lack of democratic space and plenty of poverty on the majority of our people, which is a result of a corrupt political leadership without focus on the well-being of the people,” Mujuru said.
Mujuru who was axed from her government and party positions on untested allegations she plotted to assassinate Mugabe warned Zimbabweans to realise that in the absence of a commitment by the country’s leadership to “BUILD a vibrant economy for the benefit of our people, we are doomed”.
She lamented the fact that the majority of the economically active Zimbabweans had turned to vending “but there are no buyers because workers have either been laid off or not paid for months”.
Mujuru said there was hope for a return to constitutional democracy in the country where the ordinary people could express themselves freely as well as enjoy basic freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution.
Mugabe’s former second-in-command who is on the verge of transforming her People First project into a political party to challenge his former boss in the 2018 elections said she envisaged a Zimbabwe in which no citizen would be afraid to participate in political activities and where the rule of law was observed.
“In a constitutional democracy, there is a clear separation of the party and the State for the benefit of all citizens as non-party members are not prejudiced, targeted or victimised on political grounds.
“Where there is rule of law, all people who authorised the erection of illegal structures, which are now being demolished would be brought to book”.
Mujuru called for the resuscitation of industries which are non-performing by adopting investor-friendly and market-driven policies.
On the social front, she said there was urgent need for huge investments in the repair of the country’s infrastructure, including roads and rail as well as water and sanitation, education and health saying “the dire housing situation resulting in the exploitation of the poor by the corrupt and well-connected in society should be stooped”.
This she said could only be achieved by realisation on the part of the leadership of the country that Zimbabwe is part of the global village.
“We should therefore engage all; East, West, North and South who can help us achieve and enhance the well-being of our people.
“We should build bridges with our perceived foes and consolidate our relations with all those who wish to be our true friends,” she added as she went on to pay tribute to the country’s security forces for their professionalism.
Recently, Mujuru gave written notice that she would be taking Zanu PF head-on in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.
This means that as previously predicted, a political thriller of epic proportions — if Zanu PF does not typically resort to violence to retain its iron grip on power — is on the cards in the 2018 polls, with the indefatigable former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his re-awakening main opposition MDC also strongly in the mix.
Mugabe’s warring party split into two bitterly-opposed formations at the end of 2014 at the height of its internal ructions, with its purged liberation struggle stalwarts moving to initiate the re-establishment of the “original” Zanu PF — which uses the slogan People First.
Announcing her political outfit’s Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (Build) in the country in September, Mujuru assured her supporters that she had been hard at work since her first statement in early June in which she savaged the post-congress Zanu PF and apologised to Zimbabweans for the mistakes that she and her erstwhile colleagues in the ruling party had made since 1980.
Mujuru said unlike Zanu PF, her yet-to-be launched party’s policies would be informed by a desire to see Zimbabwe move forward as a proud member of the international community; a determination to create a just and equitable society in which all people would be treated equally in line with the founding principles of the liberation struggle; and a desire to see the country grow and create equal opportunities for all.