HomeLocal NewsMujuru booed, snubs national hero burial

Mujuru booed, snubs national hero burial

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UNDER fire Vice-President Joice Mujuru was yesterday booed by Zanu PF supporters after she had shown up at the Stodart Hall in Harare for the body viewing of national hero Ambassador Kotsho Lloyd Dube.

STAFF REPORTERS

This was her first public appearance after President Robert Mugabe publicly accused her of closing ranks with the MDC in an alleged bid to unconstitutionally eject him from power.

The VP, whose political star has been on the wane since the run –up to the party’s 6th National People’s Congress, had also skipped a series of Zanu PF meetings, courting Mugabe’s wrath.

There was tension at Stodart Hall when Mujuru arrived, although ministers present stood to greet her as per tradition. Mujuru, however, ignored most of them and went straight to the family of the deceased.

She, however, exchanged greetings with the service chiefs upon her arrival.

She later drove off in her official vehicle in the wake of boos and catcalls by Zanu PF supporters who had gathered at the venue, but snubbed the burial at the National Heroes Acre.

Observers said her appearance demonstrated that she was still Mugabe’s second in command in government, but her no-show at the national shrine probably signified that she had accepted her fate at the party level.

During the congress, Mugabe attacked her for allegedly plotting to oust him.

Mujuru did not set foot at the venue of the congress, where Mugabe was reportedly keen to give her a less influential post in the party and government had she shown remorse.

Zanu PF sources said some of Mujuru’s alleged accomplices in her plot to oust Mugabe had tried to apologise and make peace with Mugabe in vain.

Outgoing Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and Munacho Mutezo reportedly tried to plead with Mugabe to forgive him.

Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema is also said to have sought forgiveness from Mugabe following reports of his links to a plot to oust the 90-year-old leader.

Meanwhile, Mugabe told mourners at Dube’s low–key burial ceremony that he had worked with the late hero until the time of his death.

He urged people to draw life-long lessons from the national hero’s political career.

“As we mourn the passing on of this courageous fighter for our freedom, let us draw life-long lessons from his career. He served with loyalty, always standing by his people and for his people. He was not a self-seeker, but searched for common good,” Mugabe said.

“Not once did we get an adverse report suggesting any deviation from the path of principle or integrity.”

Mugabe also took the opportunity to remind white people that Zimbabwe was able to prosper without them.

“We need the lessons of his illustrious life, those of us who often think that Zimbabwe needs a white man to prosper. We need the lessons of his impeccable career, those of us who think setting aside one’s people’s interests in order to win white goodwill marks modernity and better leadership.”

Mugabe said Dube joined Zapu and became its representative to the United Nations.

“He also covered South America, with his mandate broadening to cover the United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries and the whole of Western Europe,” Mugabe said.

“It took a lot for the likes of Kotsho Dube to subordinate their elitist education and careers to the demands of the struggle.”

“Some would simply reject any such invitations, hiding their educated heads into the sand of their highly rewarding professions. Others would turn very hostile to the cause of nationalism, castigating those involved as ‘ignoramuses’, as ‘men of brawn’. They would end up collaborating with the white establishment against their own people.”

Dube was appointed ambassador and served from France, covering Spain, Portugal, the Vatican and UNESCO.

Between 1997 and 2000, Dube was a member of the board of directors of the Zimbabwe Investment Centre as well as vice-chairman of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation board. In the period 2002 to 2004 he was appointed ambassador to Nigeria and later on to Zambia between 2004 and 2006.

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