HomeOpinion & AnalysisMujuru sacking: End of an era!

Mujuru sacking: End of an era!

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Vice-President Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru has fallen, some would say marking the end of an era. She was sacked on Monday by the President of the Republic Robert Mugabe for alleged serious cases of misconduct levelled against her.

The allegations include usurpation of power through intrigue and chicanery or alternatively through assassination of the head of state. Such charges constitute high treason and in any other country would be punishable by long imprisonment or the gallows.

The country waits with bated breath to see if the State will prosecute her and the other figures implicated in the same alleged plot.

Mujuru described herself in a statement this week as a simple village girl from Dotito who went to join the liberation struggle when she was 18. S

he became a Cabinet minister in 1980 when she could hardly speak, read or write English, she said, adding she went to night school on the encouragement of Mugabe and over the years systematically and diligently improved herself academically culminating in the recent doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe.
The statement can now be described as her swansong.

But her story is more complicated than she would want to present it. For the past nearly 35 years she was the poster girl of the liberation struggle itself a very complex affair whose true history has not been properly documented.

Here was a young girl — we were always told she joined the struggle when she was 17 — who was so politically conscious that she decided to fight settler colonialism when older people cowered in the their huts. Her exploits were legendary — that is, until very recently when the nation was told she allegedly stole another woman guerilla’s portrait and, in fact, didn’t shoot any helicopter out of the sky as had been touted.

She saved a solid 10 years as vice-president of the republic and had admirers right round the country. In fact, she became so powerful, it would seem, she allegedly began to entertain thoughts of acquiring the highest office through all means fair or foul.

The fact that Mugabe has known her alleged betrayal for a while but did not think of using the same law he pulled out on Monday night to dismiss her raises a few eyebrows.

Many commentators were also intrigued by the level of humiliation she had to endure in the few months leading to her fall.

It is clear that during those months there was an attempt to build a real case against her. For a long time to come Zimbabweans will debate whether in fact the attempt succeeded.

They will cite a handful other cases of alleged assassination attempts on Mugabe by his arch-rivals over the years which failed to stand the scrutiny of a competent court of law.

But there is a dark feeling that the Mujuru case is just part of a vicious cycle that will be difficult to break. The sheer amount of acrimony involved will continue to feed the monster of disharmony in the party.

The Zanu PF story is a big story riddled with twists and turns. The latest twist, the fall of Mujuru, doesn’t mark the end of the story.

It is merely the conclusion of a subplot in a gruelling saga whose end will be of biblical proportions because of the thunder and the lightning that will likely accompany it.

It will be a measure of Mugabe’s political acumen if he can end his epoch in peace, not only in his party, but also in the whole country.

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