VICE-PRESIDENT Joice Mujuru last night described as ridiculous President Robert Mugabe’s accusations that she has sought to unseat him through unlawful means, including assassination and witchcraft.
In a statement last night in which she reasserted her loyalty to Zanu PF and the country, Mujuru said she was glad she was able to address the nation at this time when her life was in danger.
“I am grateful to the Lord that I am able to address you once again, despite the ever present but still unlawful threats against my person,” she said.
She asserted she was still Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and a member of the ruling Zanu PF party.
Since the coming on of Mugabe’s wife Grace on the political scene in August this year, Mujuru has come under relentless attacks from the First Lady and the public media for alleged ineptitude and corruption.
The attacks on her person came to a head when Mugabe himself during the just-ended 6th Zanu PF People’s Congress joined in and accused her of trying to unseat him through unlawful means, including witchcraft.
Mugabe apparently verbally dismissed her and her alleged conspirators from the party at the close of the congress, but legal experts say the process of firing a Vice-President constitutionally is long and convoluted.
But yesterday in a veiled counter-attack, Mujuru accused Mugabe of being misled by a people whose aim was to destroy the party from within and of failing to address the simple challenges Zimbabweans faced.
She said in the statement: “Earlier this year, in Chinhoyi, I had occasion to state publicly that the Zanu PF party had been infiltrated by a group of persons with nefarious intent, whose objective is to destroy the party from within. As a result of my objections to this agenda, I have become the fly in a web of lies whose final objective is the destruction of Zanu PF and what it stands for and ultimately the present government of HE RG Mugabe.”
She said there was “no iota of evidence” to prove claims she was “a traitor”, “murderer” or “sell-out”, accusations that have been loud-hailed in the government-controlled Press.
Responding to Mugabe’s criticism that she was a simple woman who could not possibly navigate the complex affairs of State, Mujuru accepted the jibe tongue-in-cheek, saying Zimbabweans were crying out for solutions to the simple problems that bedevilled them.
“There are a few practical truths that I must share, which I appreciate all the time. Zimbabweans are crying out for solutions to the simple problems we have: How to put food on the table; how to obtain healthcare; sending our children to school; providing transport for them and restoring the transport infrastructure; keeping our cities clean and restoring electricity to all urban households together with clean running water. It is these simple problems that I have dedicated my life and career to and will continue to pursue,” Mujuru said.
On her failure to get a central committee position and her absence from congress, she said her party agents were unlawfully hindered from submitting her nomination papers and she decided not to attend the indaba as she feared for her life.
“I decided to stay away from the inevitable public humiliation as was meted out to other unfortunate members of the party. I made my fears known to the party leadership. It was important to maintain the dignity of the office of the Vice-President even in the face of such unwarranted violence by a section of the party membership,” she said.
She dismissed the allegations of witchcraft levelled against her and described herself as a God-fearing person who could not possibly use witchcraft to advance her political career because political power was derived from the people.
Mujuru said she had an illustrious career in Zanu PF and government and had carried out duties including campaigning for the ruling party in national elections, attending 43 campaign rallies all over Zimbabwe over a three-week period last year.
She said she did that at great personal expense, “happily losing 4kgs in that period” and played a key role in the results of the 2013 elections.
She said Zimbabwean women were legally, and constitutionally equal citizens to men, hence should not be derided or treated as second-class citizens in society which was supposed to be modern and progressive.
On allegations that she had consulted apostolic sects in her bid to wrest power from Mugabe, Mujuru said: “I was invited to be patron of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe, which represents at least 700 apostolic Christian churches in Zimbabwe, as long ago as January 2011.
This was with the full consent and blessing of His Excellency. I have since then, with the full knowledge of the Head of State, attended numerous church gatherings, as patron and also as Vice-President. There has never been any clandestine or unlawful gatherings that I have been a part of.”
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba last night said: “This is an open statement with no particular addresseé, still less His Excellency the President. If the writer meant to communicate anything to the President at all, having been in government since 1980, she would have used the appropriate channels. Her communication is of no consequence to the President and, therefore, I
cannot register a reaction on his behalf.”