Mujuru manifesto signals desire for power

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Former Vice president Joice Mujuru released a political manifesto Tuesday, signalling for the first time her intention to challenge for power since being sacked by President Robert Mugabe.

Joice Mujuru. File photo. Image by: DIEGO AZUBEL/REUTERS

Joice Mujuru. File photo.
Image by: DIEGO AZUBEL/REUTERS

Mujuru, 59, fell out with Mugabe and was fired last December after previously being seen as one of the veteran leader’s closest allies and his likely successor.

Her manifesto opposes many of Mugabe’s key policies, including indigenisation laws that require all firms to be majority-owned by locals — a major obstacle to foreign investment.

“A wholesale review of the indigenisation act will be effected,” Mujuru’s statement, published in the local press, said.

“We shall enforce, promote, and respect property rights and address historical compulsory acquisition, through fair and transparent compensation.”

Zimbabwe launched land reforms in 2000, evicting thousands of white farmers to make way for landless blacks.

Mujuru, who was dismissed in a purge of senior ZANU-PF party officials, has declined to comment on whether she has ambitions to take over from Mugabe, 91.

But her close allies have hinted she may soon launch a political party.

Mujuru’s manifesto vowed to rebuild Zimbabwe’s shattered economy by implementing “investor friendly” policies.

“Zimbabwe must move forward, economically, socially and politically,” she said.

“Together we can build Zimbabwe into a democratic state.”

In an apparent reference to the political violence that has marred Zimbabwe in the past decade, Mujuru urged a new approach.

“We say no to violence,” she said. “We say no to political intolerance.”

Mujuru is a former guerrilla fighter from the liberation war in the former Rhodesia and the widow of army commander Solomon Mujuru, who died in a mysterious house fire in 2011.

After holding cabinet posts in every government since independence in 1980, Mujuru came under bitter verbal attack from Mugabe’s wife Grace, who has been promoted to head Zanu-PF’s women’s wing.

Mujuru denied accusations that she had plotted to unseat Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980 and is due to stand for re-election in 2018.

Mugabe replaced Mujuru as vice-president with his justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a hardliner in the regime-AFP

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