Zimbabwe's Mujuru Sets Up Political Party to Compete With Mugabe

  • Registration of party ends more than a year of speculation
  • Mujuru expelled from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF December 2014

Joice Mujuru, who was Zimbabwe’s vice president until her expulsion from the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in December 2014, formed a new political party that will compete with President Robert Mugabe, who’s ruled the southern African nation since 1980.

Mujuru last week registered her Zimbabwe People First party with the country’s electoral commission “because of overwhelming support from the people,” she said by phone on Wednesday from the capital, Harare. “I didn’t want to rush into anything without being certain that we have the best team to contest elections.”

Mujuru, the widow of Zimbabwe’s former army commander Solomon Mujuru, was expelled from Zanu-PF after being accused of plotting the assassination of Mugabe. That accusation was made by Mugabe’s wife and First Lady Grace Mugabe, who’s now accusing Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of the country’s two vice presidents, of plotting to kill her son, Chatunga.

Mujuru’s new party contains other veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s independence war who have been expelled from Zanu-PF since the party held its congress in December 2014, she said.

— With assistance by Brian Latham

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