FORMER president Robert Mugabe on Tuesday met former vice-president and National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru at his Blue Roof residence in Borrowdale, where he apologised for hounding her out of the party.
By Hazel Ndebele
A remorseful Mugabe, sources said, initiated the meeting and informed the NPP leader that he regretted firing her after being influenced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa (then Justice minister) and former Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
Officials revealed Mugabe had been trying to meet Mujuru for some time, but she had repeatedly turned him down, saying she did not want to meet him in the presence of former first lady Grace Mugabe.
Grace played a critical role in Mujuru’s ouster in 2014, as she led a vilification campaign against the former vice-president, accusing her of corruption and plotting to topple Mugabe among other things.
Grace is currently out of the country.
According to sources, Mugabe said he felt the need to apologise to Mujuru after having had time to reflect.
“Mugabe initiated the meeting with Mugabe and during the meeting he apologised for removing her from the party for no apparent reason. The former president said the removal of Mujuru was influenced by former Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” an official said.
Mugabe also told Mujuru that her ouster was political and not because he did not want women to lead the party.
The former president also said he felt abandoned by some senior Zanu PF officials as they had not visited him since his ouster by the military.
“Mugabe said he is shocked by the behaviour of senior party people that he has worked with, some as far back as the liberation struggle. He said he felt betrayed and abandoned that they did not come to visit him,” he said.
Mujuru’s spokesperson Gift Nyandoro confirmed the meeting.
“Yes, it is true they met at the former president’s residence on Tuesday. The meeting took place after an invitation from the former head of state,” Nyandoro said.
“The former president was very happy to see Mai Mujuru and it was the first time they met since she was expelled from the party. He apologised for what happened but as a mother Mai Mujuru had long forgiven him. She has a forgiving heart.”
Nyandoro said Mujuru was vindicated because at the time she was expelled she told Mugabe that the people who were hounding her were actually after him.
“This is what eventually happened. She found the former president in good spirits and he was very happy to see her,” he said.
Mujuru was fired from Zanu PF at the party’s congress in December 2014.
Meanwhile, Mujuru and several of her supporters were yesterday stoned by suspected Zanu PF supporters at Chitubu Shopping Centre in Glen Norah, Harare. She was attacked while campaigning in the two suburbs. In one incident, her convoy was intercepted by commuter omnibuses carrying Zanu PF supporters, who pelted them with stones.
Mujuru sustained facial injuries which left her cheek swollen after she was hit by an unknown object.