With just a few weeks left for election day which is slated for July 30, political players have evidently increased their campaigns and mobilisation strategies to garner enough support to win the upcoming harmonised election.
To understand more on the prevailing political landscape in the country and election preparedness, our reporter Charity Ruzvidzo (CR) caught up with the National People’s Party’s president and the People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) presidential candidate Dr Joice Mujuru (JM).
CR- Zimbabwe is heading for harmonised elections in a few weeks time. How prepared is PRC for the election?
JM- We got prepared for this election the moment we decided to form the PRC. The coalition comprises five parties because we realised that if we go for elections individually we would not gain much. Our aspirations, visions and objectives were more or else the same so we decided to come together. From that point we began to prepare for the election. We then began organising meetings and campaigns to meet up with our supporters . So, we are very prepared for this election.
CR - What is PRC offering the people of Zimbabwe that no other party is?
JM - Peace makes you stand out, you have seen it happen even during our primary elections. We had the most quiet and peaceful primary elections. People were shocked when they heard that we had fielded 160 Member of Parliament candidates.
We want to build a Zimbabwe that belongs to everyone. We want everyone to enjoy the fruits of this country without discriminating in terms of gender, colour, tribe and sex. Every Zimbabwean must feel embraced, even those that are in the diaspora, those that lost their limbs in the liberation struggle, the orphans and windows. We do not want a situation where people feel unwanted.
CR - Do you think the political ground is level for all contesting political parties? If not, why?
JM- The contesting ground is not level because some of us have faced challenges with other political parties fighting against us. I have been a victim of abuse.
Also, we have heard cases where ZANU-PF is said to be intimidating people by asking for their voter’s slips just to make sure that they do not vote for any other party other than them.
Another thing is that Government has a liberty to bring in food to the hungry. However, the food is not given during an ordinary day. It is given when opposition parties are holding their rallies. They will also pitch their tents next to where you are holding your rally to divert people’s attention. This is unfortunate and we have reported about this.
The media coverage is slightly changing but we are not happy because whenever they cover us, the coverage is always negative.
CR - What do you think about the violence that recently took place in Bulawayo at President Mnangagwa’s rally?
JM - As PRC we condemn violence, it is not good for people to be violent because whenever there is violence people end up losing their lives. We should treasure life and find more peaceful ways of solving our misunderstandings.
CR - What do you think are your chances of winning this election?
JM - My chances are very high, when l was a minister and when l was Vice President, l conducted a lot of projects that helped a lot of people. The projects enabled farmers to contribute towards the country’s development. For instance when l was Vice President, l raised $30 million for the Chiredzi sugar farmers. I also helped out farmers at Cashel Valley to grow beans, butternuts and peas. Through the projects people were able to identify with me. This is what ZANU-PF did not want. People know that l can work very well with them because l am capable of coming up with projects that can sustain their livelihoods.
CR- Do you think you have managed to convince Zimbabweans to trust you to be their president after being a ZANU-PF loyalist for so many years?
JM - People who know me and those that attended my rallies will know that l’m no longer with ZANU-PF. In ZANU-PF, l was an isolated person because of my liberal views. They did not like the projects l conducted that got me closer to people. They knew people liked me because of my efforts to bring development to them. Now that l have my own party people understand that Joice is the person to steer this country forward.
CR- There are reports PRC is contemplating an alliance with Dr Thokozani Khuphe and former first lady Grace Mugabe. How far true is this?
JM- I am already in an alliance and we have no plans of joining the former first lady Grace Mugabe or Dr Khupe. We have different visions and objectives which is why we are not working together. We are centred on inclusivity and we don’t want to work with people that will gossip, spread hatred and divide people. We want to work with people who are inclusive and peaceful. We want to work with people that even the younger generation will emulate.
CR - President Mnangagwa has promised free, fair and credible elections. If you lose will you accept?
JM - If the election is free, fair and credible, yes l will accept. But if the situation continues as it is when we have other parties given more positive coverage at the expense of others, then l won’t.
CR - The MDC Alliance claims the voter’s roll given to stakeholders is fake. Have you accessed the voter’s roll and do you think it’s fake?
JM - We have received the voter’s roll and my people are still going through it to find out if it’s authentic. We will give a feedback soon.