The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front National Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere says former Vice-President Joice Mujuru can never be more popular than the party or President Robert Mugabe.
Dismissing claims that some of the candidates that are going to contest the 10 June by-elections were Mujuru loyalists, Kasukuwere said: “I want to caution people from over-estimating Mujuru’s influence. ZANU-PF and the President have more support than anybody else. There can never be any day where someone, and I am speaking right now, has more support, more following, than His Excellency the President.
“The candidates who have won the by-elections right now, Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa and in Mt Darwin we have Cde Barnwell Seremwe, these are strong party cadres in their own right who support the President, who support the party, who have been in the party for a long time and are tried and tested.
“ So for one to wake up in the morning and say, ‘I think that one is a Mujuru loyalist’ is to stretch our imagination, at times, too far to think that Mujuru was the alpha and the omega of Zanu-PF. Never!
“Admittedly, some people may have been confused that maybe the President was going to retire and Mai Mujuru would take over, which was far from the truth. The President is in charge and of course there are some people who just follow willy-nilly without thinking.
“They get to a stage where they land themselves into trouble because perhaps they are not mature enough in politics to understand that you do not follow an individual who is aspiring, who thinks they are the ultimate deciders.
“Again we have cases of people who were intimidated by simply saying ‘you got this post because so-and-so stood for you.’ So there was this grand scheming behaviour which got some of our cadres into that thinking that there was a political process leading to the retirement of the President and so if they wanted to remain in politics or remain occupying powerful positions they should be seen behind so-and-so.
“Now we must distinguish those from those who were eagerly or who were keenly plotting to see the President out of the office using all sorts of manner and ways to try and achieve their objective from those who were basically followers.
“So the party continues to look at all these issues in a very clinical manner to ensure that those who were not spearheading anything are not made to pay a price for just being followers who did not know why they should have been doing that.
“Those with bad ideas must have those ideas corrected and this is one of the things that are done in a revolution. You must always sit to correct those with the wrong ideas and the wrong notions and ensure that they understand exactly what the party stands for.”