BINGA — Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru yesterday moved her campaign to rural areas with a rally in Binga where Tendai Biti’s People Democratic Party pledged not to field a presidential candidate in the 2018 general elections as it will back the former vice-president.
By Everson Mushava
While giving a solidarity speech, PDP vice-president Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo said Mujuru had come at the right time as God’s plan was to end President Robert Mugabe’s rule. “Zimbabwe is a good country which just needs to change the driver,” he said.
“I want to urge you Amai Mujuru to remain humble and focused because what you see happening now is a sign of God taking control.
“As we come to work with you as PDP, we are coming to support you; we are bringing in no other presidential candidate other than Mai Mujuru.”
The former minister, who hails from Matabeleland North, addressed the more than 3 000 ZimPF supporters who turned up for Mujuru’s maiden rural rally in the province.
Nkomo said Zimbabweans had suffered enough under Mugabe’s rule and Mujuru had been sent by God to deliver freedom to the people.
“You go to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and other countries in the region; it is only in Zimbabwe where we are suffering,” he said.
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“You have come at the right time to liberate the people and we will pray for you. Just remain humble; you are an instrument in God’s hands.”
Nkomo praised Mujuru over the way she conducted herself in the face of humiliation by Mugabe’s wife, Grace, urging the ZimPF leader to remain humble in the face of unwavering support by many Zimbabweans.
Mujuru said she was humbled by the show of support by PDP and promised to work together with other pro-democracy opposition leaders to bring down the walls of Mugabe’s rule. Mujuru said there was nothing wrong with opposition parties working together as long as they were bound by a similar goal.
She said Zanu PF took her joining hands with Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T the wrong way because the party was used to violence each time they met rivals.
“Last Saturday we partnered Tsvangirai in Gweru to protest against bond notes. As Zimbabwe People First, we have already taken government to court over its decision to introduce bond notes,” she said.
“So, we joined the MDC-T in their protest and they also joined us at our rally.
“There was nothing wrong with that. How does that constitute selling out? So they [Zanu PF] thought I would fold my arms as they [MDC-T] protest when what they were demonstrating against is what we are also fighting?”
Zanu PF last week accused Mujuru of selling out by joining the Tsvangirai-led protests in Gweru.
The ruling party’s apologists alleged that she had demonstrated that she was part of a plot by her late husband the late General Solomon Mujuru to betray Mugabe.
Mujuru said their joint rally and protest showed the now jittery Zanu PF that people can be united.
“By joining Tsvangirai, what has been sold out? They [Zanu PF] are used to violence each time they meet other political parties and they were disappointed that what they are used to do did not happen when we met. ZimPF is a peaceful party,” she said.
“They [Zanu PF] always attack me that I did not fight in the liberation struggle. I don’t need anyone to validate my credentials. No one can undo history.”
Mujuru blasted Zanu PF for using force to silence citizens peacefully demonstrating against its “misrule”.
She added: “You cannot use the police to beat up their parents expressing displeasure over the way the country is run. People have discovered that their political leadership does not have the ears to give them audience, so they go into the streets peacefully and they beat them up, why?”
Mujuru lamented the economic meltdown, and promised the people of Binga that the long awaited Zambezi River water project would become a reality if she won in 2018.
“People say Binga is the poorest district. It is not true; the poorest is the mind of the country’s leadership. If we draw water and do irrigation and improve tourism, the people’s lives will change,” she said.
Prior to the rally, violent incidences against ZimPF supporters were recorded, with a headmaster at a local school having his house torched on Wednesday night after he was reportedly visited by Zanu PF youths to question him about his alleged links to ZimPF.
On Friday, 13 rounds of ammunition were discovered at the headmaster’s shop at Manjolo Shopping Centre about 400m from the venue of Mujuru’s rally.
A police report was made on both accounts.