HARARE – Axed Vice-President Joice Mujuru is now actively taking part in the court challenge fronted by former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa seeking to overturn results of the Zanu PF 2014 congress, The Zimbabwe Mail has learnt.

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Mujuru, who hitherto played a backstage role in the post-congress fallout and sought to distance herself from directly challenging President Robert Mugabe, had reportedly given up hope  she might bounce back to party and government leadership.

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Impeccable sources in the Mutasa camp told The Zimbabwe Mail that Mujuru’s bid for a one-on-one meeting with President Mugabe on the goings on in Zanu PF had failed.

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The sources said she was now firmly behind the court challenge and has reportedly mobilsed funding for it.

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“She has given up hope that she will be granted a meeting with the president,” one of the sources said.

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“Given the messages that have been coming out and the continued attacks from President Mugabe, it is now clear there is no turning back (by Mugabe). The horses have bolted and she needs to find her place now.”

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The Zimbabwe Mail is reliably informed that Mujuru, who has been confined to her farm in Mashonaland East since being fired as the country’s number two just after the December

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congress, drove into the capital on Monday “and paid the lawyers handling the court challenge”.

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“The lawyers had not been paid and Mujuru, besides coming to Harare to issue the statement denying she ever took part in any rituals as insinuated by President Mugabe, wanted to make sure the lawyers were paid. That is now a done deal and it’s game-on,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

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media rubbishing the December congress.

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But Mujuru yesterday denied funding the faction.

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Ndinoiwanepi mari ini ndisina yekubhadhara vashandi vangu? (Where do I get the money when I cannot afford to pay my workers?), Mujuru said in a written response to questions from The Zimbabwe Mail. “Please, manyepo auraya Zimbabwe (lies are destroying Zimbabwe). People should do more rewarding things.”

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On what extend she was involved in the impending litigation, Mujuru said: “Nhaiko, handiti Mai MujurunaVaMutasa vanhu vaviri vakasiyana here? (Isn’t that Mai Mujuru and Mutasa are two distinct people?).

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While Mujuru distanced herself from the court action, Rugare Gumbo, who was kicked out as Zanu PF spokesperson just before the congress for his role in the alleged plot against President Mugabe, confirmed the former vice-president’s involvement.

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“How can you even ask if she is participating? She is our leader, she is the vice-president and we follow her orders. She was demoted without reason so she is with us,” Gumbo, the defacto Mutasa faction spokesperson told The Zimbabwe Mail on Tuesday.

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Mutasa was not available for comment on Tuesday.

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President Mugabe at the weekend said Mujuru and her group had effectively formed a new party “called Zanu PF-First”.

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The president told thousands of people gathered in Victoria Falls for his 91st birthday celebrations that Mujuru and her group had, in their pursuit of power, sought assistance from some apostolic sect fetish priests, as well as Nigerian ritual leaders in a bid to remove him from power as well as kill him.

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In response, Mujuru went ballistic against President Mugabe.

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“I am at a loss as to how I continue to be the subject matter of presidential conjecture and fantasy based on outright lies. I was born into the Apostolic faith and once at school, became a member of the Salvation Army. I am a committed Christian and was the leader of Apostolic churches as patron, and I have been committed to Christian life and values, all of my life,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

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“It is disturbing that the allegations that I tried to or was part of a conspiracy to assassinate the President have now been reduced to allegations of witchcraft, whose versions change on a daily basis. I am sure even the ordinary Zimbabwean has become tired of this story in its various guises. It’s a charade which has lost steam.”

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The Mujuru group has approached the High Court seeking a declaration that would overturn the outcome of the 6th Zanu PF congress that resulted in the elevation of Emmerson Mnangagwa and career diplomat Phelekezela Mphoko to positions of vice-president.

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Mujuru, Gumbo, Mutasa and others lost their lofty positions in the ruling party and government for allegedly fronting a section of the party that sought to remove President Mugabe from power by foul means.

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They have all denied the allegations, but the party has gone on to expel Gumbo, former Water Veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda, Mutasa  and former Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Temba Mliswa, while Mujuru is now an ordinary card-carrying member.

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Former attorney general Sobusa Gula-Ndebele is leading the pack of legal practitioners set to represent Mujuru and her “cabal of quislings” as described by her arch-nemesis, Mnangagwa.