By a Correspondent
ZIMBABWE – Former Zimbabwe vice president Joice Mujuru who is now the leader of the opposition National People’s Party NPP has vowed to remove president Robert Mugabe from power next year when the country holds harmonised elections.
Mujuru launched her rural political campaign yesterday in Gutu district in the southern part of the country where she addressed thousands of people at Maungwa business centre.
Mujuru who was Mugabe’s deputy before being expelled from the ruling Zanu PF party in 2014 for allegedly harbouring presidential ambitions told the crowd that Mugabe was now a spent force and therefore should be booted out of power during next year’s polls.
“We all have a role to play next year, “said Mujuru. “The role i am talking of is to make sure that we boot Mugabe out of power. “We all have to be united to do it because it should be a collective responsiblity,”she said.
“Mugabe is now a spent force and is too old to be our leader hence we just have to make sure that we have removed him come next year,”she added
Turning to the issue of a grant coalition for opposition political parties to field a single presidential candidate next year Mujuru said nothing concrete had been reached.
“What we have done with the MDC-T is to agree on a road map and so far nothing tangible has come out since we are still in the midst of discussions,”said Mujuru.
The former vice president ‘s party recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding MOU with the country’s main opposition political party the MDC-T led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The country’s opposition political parties have mooted the idea of a grant coalition in which they will field one presidential candidate against the aged Mugabe now 93 years old.
As part of her rural election campaign Mujuru met traditional chiefs in Gutu district but some refused to meet her.
Sources said those who refused to meet Mujuru had been threatened by the ruling ZANU PF party bigwigs against meeting the opposition leader.
Zimbabwean traditional leaders are on the government pay roll.
“The ZANU PF government threatened to remove all chiefs from the pay roll who support opposition political parties hence most chiefs in Gutu district refused to meet Mujuru,”said the source.
Although traditional chiefs are constitutionally barred from engaging in politics the ruling ZANU PF party has over the years used them to drum up support for Mugabe.
The traditional leaders will soon be given cars by the government in a move which opposition political parties view as a campaign strategy.
Zimbabwe has 2800 traditional chiefs but only 225 would get vehicles according to government sources.
Mugabe has been in power since 1980 and despite calls by opposition political parties for him to step down he has vowed to contest next year’s polls as the ruling party’s candidate.