Mugabe’s ex-deputy forms rival political party in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's former deputy president Mujuru launches new political party to challenge ruling Mugabe's ZANU-PF

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) is greeted by formee vice President Joice Mujuru (L) as he returns home to Harare, April 12, 2012.

Zimbabwe’s former vice president Joice Mujuru, said on Tuesday she had established a new political party to challenge the country’s veteran leader President Robert Mugabe.

Mujuru, who was President Mugabe’s long time deputy until fired in 2014, is seen as the likely successor to the 92-year old leader. She led a "treacherous cabal" to overtake power from Mugabe.

 She was rarely seen in public, resorting to issuing newspaper statements, that hinted at a future challenge to Mugabe.

During her first public address since she was removed from the ruling ZANU-PF party in Dec. 2014, she announced that she had launched a new political party.

"Today we confirm our existence as a viable home grown political party. Zimbabwe People First is here," Mujuru told reporters.

"We are not fighting one man but a system, that system which is unjust," said Mujuru.

Mujuru still enjoys the support from some of his comrades who hold senior positions in the military, her close aides said. The military has been supportive of Mugabe’s 36-year rule.

At least four former cabinet ministers fired by Mugabe were at the launch of Mujuru's party, some Western diplomats were also in attendance.

In 2014, Mugabe sacked Mujuru claiming that some of his top security chiefs were no longer giving him crucial security briefs, instead they were reporting to Mujuru.  

TRTWorld, Reuters