Cape Town – Zimbabwe's ousted vice president Joice Mujuru is reportedly set to lead a new party following her expulsion from the ruling Zanu-PF party.
According to Zimbabwe's Daily News, well-placed sources said Mujuru was set to lead a new Zanu-PF splinter group which identifies itself as the "original Zanu-PF". The party would use the slogan "People First" to distinguish itself from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF, whose PF stands for Patriotic Front.
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party last week resolved to expel Mujuru, more than three months after she was sacked from her job.
"She was plotting to unconstitutionally remove the president," the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported on Thursday.
Mujuru, 59, the widow of liberation war icon General Solomon Mujuru, made history when she became Zimbabwe's first ever female vice president in 2004. She was seen as a moderate member of Zanu-PF.
Analysts say her popularity was her downfall. Ageing Mugabe, who is now 91, allegedly feared she could unseat him and was intent on retaining control of his country and his party.
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The long-time president and his supporters insist Mujuru plotted to oust - and even kill - Mugabe. She denies the allegations.
Former Presidential Affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa, who was also expelled from the ruling party, reportedly alluded to the formation of the party and its principles, adding that they were pinning their hopes on the popular Mujuru to lead it.
Political and economic mess
"There is no doubt that the person that will take Zimbabwe from the current political and economic mess is Amai Mujuru. The government has failed and the Look East policy only makes a few people rich," Mutasa was quoted as saying.
But, according to New Zimbabwe.com, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo rubbished the new Zanu-PF splinter group as "nonsense".
"Media dreams of a split will come to grief not least because the nefarious pursuits of expelled malcontents in the wilderness cannot be rationally described as a split," Moyo was quoted as saying.