Former Vice-President and National People’s Party leader Joice Mujuru says it is now her chance to rule.
In an exclusive interview with Newsweek, she said she was willing to enter into coalitions with other opposition parties including activist Pastor Evan Mawarire.
Mujuru, who served with President Robert Mugabe for 34 years before being expelled from the party for trying to oust him, said the Zimbabwean people understood her despite her long history with the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
“The Zimbabwean people have known me for a long time, from the days when I was the youngest minister. They know exactly how I’ve been relating to issues that affect their daily lives,” she told Newsweek.
“They are seeing that it’s now my time, it’s now my chance. Because before, I’ve been subservient to lots of leaderships. But now that I will be the leader in my own right, surely… they think something better will come out of it.”
Mujuru said she was working with Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to beat Mugabe in next year’s elections, adding: “We have a memorandum of understanding roadmap that we are planning to sign very soon.”
Mugabe, who will be 94 next year, is the ZANU-PF presidential candidate though some fear that he might not make it because of his failing health.
Mujuru said Mawarire, who has also indicated that he will contest for president next year, will have little impact in the election without a political party behind him.
“Mawarire’s network is not all over the country. He is just capturing those who are on social media, and that’s not the rest of Zimbabwe,” she said.
ZANU-PF has brushed of proposed coalition as “a marriage of rejects”.
Paty secretary for Administration Ignatius Chombo said: “Tsvangirai has been rejected by the people for the past 20 years and was further rejected by groups within his party.
“Mai Mujuru is a reject from ZANU-PF. She formed her own party and within a few months she was rejected by that party.
“They are not genuine opposition parties, but individuals using opposition politics to front for Western imperialists.
“One reject plus another reject will never give you acceptance,” he said almost echoing what party leader Mugabe said at his 93rd birthday.
“My teacher ndichiri muGrade One aiti ukaisa mazero maviri haaite two, rinongoramba riri zero,”Mugabe said.
“Kana ukaawanza kusvika gumi it just amounts to a huge pile of zeros, nothing, you see.”