Former Zimbabwean Vice President Joice Mujuru has launched a new opposition party to challenge President Robert Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Mujuru served as vice president for ten years and was seen as Mugabe’s likely successor before being ousted in December 2014. The vice president was accused of leading a “treacherous cabal” aiming to overthrow and kill Mugabe, allegations which Mujuru denies.
At her first press conference since being deposed, Mujuru announced that she launched the Zimbabwe People First party to revive the economy and improve relations with the West.
“We are not fighting one man but a system, that system which is unjust,” Mujuru told her audience.
At least four former cabinet members who were also purged by Mugabe, including Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo, attended the launch of Mujuru’s party. According to her aides, Mujuru also has support from some senior members of the military.
Mujuru said that the formation of the Zimbabwe People Party is heroic and will fight the “scourge of corruption” in Zimbabwe.
But despite the support she enjoyed at the Zimbabwe People Party’s launch, Mujuru and her new party will likely struggle to remove the powerful ZANU-PF, according to the BBC.
Supporters of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, may still view Mujuru as loyal to Mugabe and ZANU-PF and will unlikely join her party.
Furthermore, according to BBC Africa analyst Lewis Machipisa, Zimbabwean law enforcement agencies may investigate Mujuru over the business she and her husband ran after independence in 1980. If it is discovered that Mujuru was corrupt, it will harm her party’s legitimacy.
It will be recalled that SaharaReporters and SaharaTV previously ambush interviewed Mr. Mugabe during his official visit to the inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Our correspondent asked whether there was democracy in Zimbabwe and if Mr. Mugabe was too old to be President.
News of Mujuru’s party comes just days after Mugabe was criticized for his lavish 92nd birthday party.