FORMER vice president Joice Mujuru turned down calls to return to the ruling party arguing she is comfortable watching from the terraces, the Daily News can report.
This comes as the ruling party is keen to mend broken relations with its erstwhile comrades who left at the height of the ugly factional wars that ravaged Zanu PF between 2013 and 2017.
Zanu PF secretary for the commissariat Victor Matemadanda recently appealed to former party officials to return to the party saying the past is now buried.
It also comes as Mujuru recently met with several top Zanu PF officials, including Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Isaac Moyo and discussed her welfare and possible return to the ruling party.
According to people close to her, the former vice president, in meetings with several Zanu PF officials, raised concern on the manner she was being treated by government since her unceremonious departure in 2014 after she was alleged to be plotting to remove the late Robert Mugabe through a coup.
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Mujuru said she wants to rest.
“It is now five years since there were allegations that I am corrupt, ask those in power why I am not under arrest. I am not thinking of joining politics anytime now because I am enjoying watching from the stands and will not be coming back anytime soon. I am enjoying watching from afar,” said Mujuru.
Last year during an interview, Mujuru said she was keeping her options open after the Daily News had reported that she had held a meeting with Moyo.
“I have been quiet for a long time but I don’t see anything wrong if … I meet (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa or (Zanu PF chairperson Oppah) Muchinguri. In fact, that is the proper way of doing things.
“No matter how daft I might look in the eyes of some people, I know something about this country. You cannot throw away 34 years of experience.
“People should learn to listen to me and also to listen to other voices. It is important for me to meet and share ideas with the president because there is nothing wrong in seeing our leaders.
“Those are the people who are leading us and they should also listen to us. I have been meeting a lot of people whether in Zanu PF or not and whatever we have been discussing is good for Zimbabwe. I have met hordes of people,” said Mujuru.
Zanu PF’s mission to woo former party members has so far produced mixed fortunes.
Notable party officials who have heeded calls to return to Zanu PF include stalwarts such as Didymus Mutasa and Ambrose Mutinhiri while former party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, just like Mujuru, has refused to go back to the former liberation struggle movement.
“I cannot go back; you know some of us are fine where we are. They should probably ask the youths they expelled to reapply, not me.
“Of course, I am prepared to talk to Mnangagwa, just to give him advice but not to rejoin the party. But I certainly cannot be seen running around trying to rejoin Zanu PF, which Zanu PF?” asked the former Cabinet minister.
Zanu PF is keen to expand its power base as well as counter former party officials who want to form their own parties riding on tribal grounds and Mujuru, who hails from Mashonaland Central province, is viewed as a popular figure who can win the ruling party some votes