Mujuru tells Mugabe to hold fresh elections as war veterans urge him to listen to the people


Joice-Mujuru zimpf

Former Vice-President and leader of Zimbabwe People First Joice Mujuru yesterday called on President Robert Mugabe to call for fresh elections to save the country from collapsing saying her party was the future and had the solution.

War veterans, who three months ago pledged their loyalty to Mugabe, also told the ageing Zimbabwean leader that he should listen to the people instead of suppressing demonstrations.

The two made their calls in separate press briefings ahead of demonstrations planned for today. Zimbabweans have been protesting against the recently announced restrictions on imports of basic goods and the heavy presence of police on the roads. Some civil servants are on strike because of delayed salaries.

According to the African News Agency, Mujuru said instead of repressing and suppressing the popular sentiments among the people manifesting in the demonstrations, the government has to address the causes of the myriad problems facing the country.

“In view of these myriad problems, we challenge Robert Mugabe to call for fresh elections now to get a new mandate if he thinks people have forgotten his promise of two million jobs,” she said.

Mujuru said the government’s decision to ban imports of basic commodities was unfortunate and ill-timed.

“The importation of basic commodities was providing a livelihood while meeting the gap caused by lack of local industrial production. This is even more telling when such a decision was taken when there is rampant unemployment at over 80%,” she said.

She chided her former boss who is treated in the Far East: “If indeed we are genuine in protecting local industry, why are we not extending the ban to all sectors of the economy, including access to foreign medical facilities and services? The local health system has collapsed; it needs the same kind of support.”

War veterans said Mugabe should listen to the people as they were expressing their dissatisfaction with the services of the government.Mutsvangwa, mahiya mutemadanda“Government should hear from the people or sections of society that are registering dissatisfaction with the services of government. People do not want tailor-made solutions to social and political problems. They are often resisted because they will not be as suitable as solutions that come up from the people,” war veterans spokesman Douglas Mahiya said.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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