SACKED Vice-President Joice Mujuru has said it is too early for her to decide on her next move, but vowed to remain in Zanu PF because it is the only political party she has ever known.
FELUNA NLEYA/MOSES MATENGA
President Robert Mugabe on Monday night fired Mujuru as VP together with eight other ministers on allegations of plotting to overthrow him.
Mujuru, in a response to her sacking, which was made available to our sister paper Southern Eye, confirmed receiving a letter on Monday night from Mugabe informing her of the dismissal.
She was non-committal on her future or whether she would challenge her dismissal.
“It’s too early for me to say,” she said, before adding: “I am not a fighting character.
“The letter said I was no longer Vice-President of Zimbabwe, full stop,” she said.
Mujuru, who insists she was still loyal to Mugabe, says she had acted as President on several occasions in the past decade, but at no time had she ever thought of removing him.
She indicated she was not quite sure under which law she had been sacked.
“And he (Mugabe) quoted Section 106(1b) of the Constitution, which I tried to check [out], but I did not get it, maybe he wanted to say Section 2b.”
She said Zanu PF had now been infiltrated and she had warned Mugabe about it, but he was oblivious to the plot.
The former Vice-President, despite her sacking, said she was not leaving Zanu PF, as that is the only party she knew and ever belonged to.
Mugabe did not immediately name replacements for Mujuru and the other sacked ministers who include Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, Labour minister Nicholas Goche and Higher and Tertiary Education minister Olivia Muchena.
Others fired were Youth and Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Webster Shamu, Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Simbaneuta Mudarikwa.
Mavhaire’s deputy Munacho Mutezo was the only deputy minister to be axed.
Though the official reason for their dismissal was given as “performing below expected standard”, observers said their “sin” was allegations that they plotted to topple Mugabe.
“In terms of section 106 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013, His Excellency the President, Cde R G Mugabe, has exercised his executive powers to relieve Honourable
J T R Mujuru MP of her position of Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect as it had become evident that her conduct in the discharge of her duties had become inconsistent with her official responsibilities,” read the statement issued by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda.
“In terms of section 108 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013, His Excellency the President Cde R G Mugabe, has relieved the following ministers of their duties with immediate effect as it had become apparent that their conduct and performance were below the expected standard.”
The ministers were fingered in an alleged plot to oust Mugabe and replace him with Mujuru with the 90-year-old veteran leader accusing his deputy of engaging n’angas and apostolic sects to strengthen her chances of landing the top post.
Mujuru fell out of favour with Mugabe after “revelations” of an alleged plot to topple him in which she allegedly worked hand-in-glove with former Zanu PF secretary for administration Mutasa, sacked Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and Mashonaland East chairman Ray Kaukonde among others.
Mavhaire and Mutezo also stand accused of taking money from parastatals under their control and allegedly financing their “plot” to topple Mugabe.
Goche is accused of leading attempts to hire assassins to deal with Mugabe, an allegation he denies.
In a statement on Monday, Mujuru denied all accusations against her saying the allegations were “unfounded and malicious”.
“As a law-abiding citizen of Zimbabwe, I abhor the very notion that an elected President or Government of the day can be removed from office through wrongful or unlawful means.
“The allegations that I, alone, or (together with various distinguished comrades) have sought to or attempted to remove His Excellency R G Mugabe from office are ridiculous,” Mujuru said.
“A vociferous attempt has been made to portray me as ‘a traitor’, ‘murderer’ and ‘sell-out’, yet not a single iota of evidence has been produced to give credence to the allegations,” she added.
Contacted for comment after his dismissal, Mavhaire said: “Ah, ini handitaure nyaya idzodzo ne Press vakomana, maita basa henyu mangondivudzavo (I don’t talk to the Press about such issues, thank you for notifying me,” he said.
Mutezo said he had accepted his fate and said he was a victim of misinformation.
“We have accepted our fate and want to thank the President for giving us an opportunity to serve the country,” Mutezo said.
“There was a lot of misinformation from the Press of things that I did not do. The Mutezo they were talking about is not the one I know. I have been given a face that is not mine, I cannot even recognise myself. Nothing ever went into my pocket,” he said.
Shamu said he was in a short meeting while Goche and Mutasa are reportedly unwell.
Mugabe last Saturday told the Zanu PF congress that he would make a Cabinet reshuffle soon after announcing his politburo.
The Zanu PF central committee convenes today for an emergency meeting where the politburo members are expected to be unveiled. Tipped to take over from Mujuru is Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who leads another faction in Zanu PF. Former national chairman and Senior minister Simon Khaya Moyo is also tipped to be elevated to the second VP position.