Joice Mujuru’s party in Zimbabwe has rejected as “unfounded and baseless” reports that she will join with former first lady Grace Mugabe and her allies to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa in polls this year.
Mujuru, leader of the National People’s Party (NPP) met Robert Mugabe last week, fuelling speculation he was tacitly giving his backing to the former vice president.
A state newspaper, the Sunday Mail claimed Mugabe had “given his blessing to the creation of an opposition political party that will bring together G40 and the NPP”.
G40 is the faction of the ruling party that backed Grace to become vice president. Most of its members were expelled from Zanu-PF in the wake of the November 15 military takeover that ended with Mugabe’s resignation and Mnangagwa taking the reins of power.
“National People’s Party wishes to categorically dismiss the rumour that Dr Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru has entered into a political pact with the former first lady Mrs Grace Mugabe with the contempt it deserves,” Mujuru’s spokesperson Gift Nyandoro, said in a statement.
“For one to try and twist facts that the meeting was about formation of a political pact only reflects kwashiorkor thinking of the highest order,” the spokesperson added.
Mob threw stones
Mugabe sacked Mujuru in 2014 following weeks of vilification by Grace, who accused the then vice president of plotting to topple her husband. On Tuesday, Mugabe apologised to Mujuru and said he had been misled about her intentions, according to sources who attended the meeting.
The NPP spokesperson repeated his party’s claim that Zanu-PF supporters were behind an attack on Mujuru in Harare on Thursday. Mujuru and several NPP members were injured when a mob threw stones at them in Harare’s Glenview district.