Former Vice President, Joice Mujuru’s party, the Zimbabwe People First, says although it will not trouble itself much with a story that appeared in the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper suggesting that Mujuru was of loose morals during the liberation war, it decries the lack of ethics shown in the story.
The story has salacious details about what allegedly happened behind closed doors during the liberation struggle.
The story, headlined 'Dr. Joice Mujuru Unmasked', quotes a former war veteran, George Rutanhire, as having told the newspaper that Mujuru was not a trained fighter and used her sexuality to rise through the ranks.
Rutanhire rubbishes the popular legend that Mujuru single-handedly brought down an enemy helicopter alleging that the person who actually did this was her boyfriend.
“But during the war, we had (rules and warnings) against sleeping with girls or women under such circumstances. Whilst other comrades were relaxing, Joice and Chipembere took that opportunity to enjoy the forbidden fruit.
“During the intercourse, a battle broke out (with Rhodesian forces) and Chipembere fought the better part of that battle whilst he was naked," Rutanhire is quoted by the state-run weekly.
The newspaper also quotes an unnamed war veteran but does not make an effort to balance the story by talking to Mujuru or her surrogates.
A member of the ZimPF information department, Methuseli Moyo, told Studio 7 that the party’s legal department is going through the story with the intention of seeing if they can seek legal recourse.
"To start off this is not surprising," said Moyo. "It is unfortunate but not surprising. It is keeping with the tradition of Zanu PF when they are under pressure, as they are under pressure from ZimPF and the are resorting to dirty tactics."
He described the story as gutter jouranlism, adding that Zanu PF has decided to concoct the story to make cheap political mileage and "burst Mujuru's bubble".
Moyo said: "Even when you get the basics, the ethics of journalism ... they should have at least given her the chance to respond or at least contacted her spokesmen."
Efforts to get a comment from Sunday Mail editor, Sasa Mabasa, were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.