THE People First project led by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru, which on Tuesday released a manifesto entitled, Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (BUILD), is headed towards sunset like other Zanu-PF rebels and rejects, analysts said. The manifesto has been seen as a patchwork of ideas derived from the opposition MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Simba Makoni’s 2008 Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn manifestos.
Analyst expressed surprise that the People First had copy- and-pasted failed blueprints from the opposition which had sought to defeat the ruling Zanu-PF and reverse its historic achievements such as the land reform indigenisation programmes.
The MDC-T yesterday tongue-in-cheek derided the People First project for stealing its ideas. “In a way the Mujuru policy blueprint is speaking our language; the document is singing our chorus,” said Mr Obert Gutu, spokesperson of the MDC-T.
“As the MDC, we feel humbled and flattered that the BUILD manifesto largely mirrors what we have already stated in our JUICE and ART policy blueprints. They are touching on issues such as respect for property rights, press freedom, democracy and human rights etc.
“They are talking our kind of language; indeed, they are singing our chorus. We are very flattered by that. They also agree with us on the issues of dual citizenship and on the need to revamp and overhaul the indigenisation laws and regulations,”
Academic Dr Ibbo Mandaza, a founding member of Mavambo project, who has also been long linked to the Mujuru cabal and has been fingered as one of the authors of the BUILD manifesto yesterday denied authorship, but acknowledged the document’s striking similarities to the Mavambo manifesto.
“Yes I was a founding member of Mavambo and was involved in writing that manifesto. There are many similarities between the two documents because that is what you get when you are stating the obvious,” Dr Mandaza said.
“Just because I came out in the paper in support of the document you can’t then think that I wrote it!” he said. Some of the highlights in the BUILD document include the reversal of the land reform programme that has benefited directly over 300 000 families, a review of the indigenisation and empowerment regulations that decree 51:49 percent threshold in favour of indigenous Zimbabweans, among other proposals.
Political analysts who spoke to The Herald dismissed Dr Mujuru’s statement as reactionary pledges bereft of key issues affecting Zimbabweans. Some said the statement was akin to a Rhodesian manifesto as it dwelled much on the so-called international best practices that had nothing to do with the plight of Zimbabweans.
University of Zimbabwe political scientist Professor Charity Manyeruke, poured cold water on the document saying: “It is not a Zimbabwean blueprint. It has been authored for non Zimbabweans because it places emphasis on international best practices. Best practices for any country are its national interests and indigenous systems.
“Of course, we can compare them with other countries, but our national identity should be given first priority.” Mr Goodwine Mureriwa, another political scientist, said Dr Mujuru’s statement vindicated Zanu-PF’s decision to fire her together with her cabal as she has displayed her true colours by parroting Western demands.
“Mai Mujuru was identified by the West as the so-called moderate a long time ago that is why there were attempts to have her takeover leadership of Zanu-PF at the Goromonzi Congress in 2006,” he said. “She has always opposed empowerment policies that have benefited the majority even when she was in Zanu-PF; therefore her pronouncements now are not surprising.
“The West have realised that Morgan Tsvangirai will not win any elections because he lacks the liberation war credentials and have therefore identified the so-called moderate former liberation war fighters to do their bidding as is shown in this blueprint released by Mai Mujuru.
“They were subverted even at the time they were still in Zanu-PF as they were acting like an opposition within.” Mr Mureriwa said the document was nothing new as the MDC-T had unsuccessfully tried to campaign on similar propositions in the past. “What she has done is a policy pronouncement of Western interests,” he said.
“The West has abandoned Tsvangirai and have turned to Mai Mujuru to lead the so-called grand coalition. They have realised that if you are against the liberation struggle you will not win and they think using some war veterans will endear them to the electorate which is a revolutionary electorate.
“This, however, is bound to fail as Zimbabweans are fully aware of what she stands for.”