Mujuru gatecrashes poll anniversary, claims she was not invited

Joice Mujuru, President Robert Mugabe’s deputy in Zanu (PF) and government, yesterday betrayed the disorderly way in which the party organised a bash to celebrate its contested election victory last year.

The anniversary was held at State House where Mugabe gave the keynote address in the presence of cabinet ministers, service chiefs, party structures and invited businesspeople.

Mujuru, who was tasked with introducing Mugabe, said she had not been invited to the event but decided to come despite that.

“Takangoita zvekunzwa neguwa. (We heard about the anniversary through rumour). Despite that, I rushed to attend saying I should not be left behind,” Mujuru said.

The event was announced through the media on Thursday.

Party hawks from the women's league are reportedly plotting to remove Mujuru from her current position and, in turn, the possibility of her succeeding Mugabe.

Mugabe, on his part, admitted that the anniversary was mooted and organised at the last minute on Wednesday.

“They (the party organisers) came up with the idea against the run of time and I said, go ahead if that is what is proper,” he said.

A number of senior party members failed to attend the occasion, which however went without hiccups despite starting more than an hour later.

Conspicuous by their absence were party national chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo and Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, who Mugabe said were away on other missions.

He also said the First Lady, Grace, had travelled out of the country with her daughter, Bona.

Jonathan Moyo, the Information minister who was a losing candidate in Tsholotsho, was also not present.

However, some guests travelled all the way from Bulawayo and other parts of the country, among them war veterans leader, Jabulani Sibanda, and arrived just in time for the ceremony.

Mugabe, in his speech at the anniversary, thanked his followers for uniting to give him and his party a resounding victory in the 2013 general elections.

On the same day, however, the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai led demonstrations in Harare against the elections which the opposition party maintains were rigged.

Mugabe challenged people who were alleging poll fraud to provide evidence to prove their claim.

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