Zimbabweans have expressed mixed feelings over Vice President Joice Mujuru’s move to speak out on allegations that she is allegedly corrupt, incompetent and attempting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe ahead of the party’s elective congress in December.
In a statement Sunday evening, Vice President Mujuru broke her silence on heightened Zanu PF factionalism by dismissing these reports as malicious.
“I deny any and all the allegations of treason, corruption, incompetence, and misuse of public office being routinely made against me in The Herald and Sunday Mail Newspapers. I have briefed my legal practitioners to take the necessary steps, at law, to restore my good reputation, political standing and dignity. I stand ready to defend myself before the Party, and in any court of law on any of the allegations made against me, at any time, in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe.
“No amount of malicious, hurtful and false statements about me, my late husband, my family, children , associates or business interests (real or imagined) can deter me from the mission at hand, that is to assist His Excellency President R . G Mugabe in driving the social and economic programmes of his Government to successful fruition."
Reacting to her statement, Zanu PF Central Committee member, David Ndlovu, told Studio 7 that Mrs. Mujuru has the right to defend herself.
Independent political analyst Charles Mutasa said though Mrs. Mujuru has taken long to break the silence, she has done the right thing to at least have her side heard.
Political Analyst Nkululeko Sibanda of Huddersfield University says Mrs. Mujuru should start courting her opponents in order to survive the political onslaught launched by her opponents.
A rival faction said to be fighting for the control of Zanu PF ahead of the party’s congress is allegedly led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The vice president, who has been urged to step down by the First Lady Grace Mugabe and her allies ahead of the party’s elective congress in December, said she has briefed her legal practitioners to take the necessary steps, at law, to restore her good reputation, political standing and dignity.
The beleaguered vice president said she is ready to defend herself before Zanu PF, and in any court of law on any of the allegations made against her, at any time, in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe.
Mrs. Mujuru said she will continue to diligently serve the people of Zimbabwe and Zanu PF.
“I regret that certain persons have elected to make false, unsubstantiated, malicious, defamatory and irresponsible statements about me, solely for the purpose of engineering their wide spread publication in all forms of media across the world , and bringing the Ruling Party, Zanu PF (the Party), the Government and the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, into disrepute.
“There has also been an unconstitutional call for my resignation and/or removal from both Party and public office, on the spurious grounds that I am corrupt, a gossiper, demonic, jealous and divisive, inept and [that I am] unfit for consumption by flies and dogs.”
In the interests of party and in keeping with its established protocol, Mrs. Mujuru said, she has previously chosen not to issue any statements.
“However today (Sunday), the 16 November 2014, The Sunday Mail Newspaper, in its banner head line story, has accused me of treason.
I am accused of being involved in an attempt to overthrow the legitimate Zimbabwean Government led by His Excellency, the President and First Secretary of Zanu PF, and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, R.G. Mugabe. This allegation which is wholly untrue and cannot go unchallenged, in the national interest.”
She said leaders are elected by the people to serve the people. “I am an elected servant of people of Zimbabwe and as such I can only serve this country in any capacity, when elected by the people. Unbridled ambition, misplaced self-righteous adulation and hubris, offends the Lord, and can only lead to the ruin of the person (s), and the Party and therefore Government.”
Mrs. Mujuru further said while she personally believes that silence is golden, in the face of such unprecedented, systematic and coordinated attacks on a serving vice president of Zimbabwe, “I have been obliged to make this statement, for and on behalf of all current and future national leaders who may face the same problem in future.