via Vice-President Joice Mujuru hits back 17 November 2014 by Zerubabel Mudzingwa
UNDERFIRE Vice-President Joice Mujuru yesterday hit back at her critics who have been pushing for her ouster on allegations of corruption and plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe, saying the allegations were untrue and highly defamatory.
Mujuru, who is spoiling for a fight, said she would not throw in the towel as demanded by her detractors, vowing to continue serving the ruling Zanu PF party in any capacity she would have been elected to presumably at the forthcoming December elective congress.
Her response came after many of her perceived allies, among them party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda and seven provincial chairpersons, have been booted out of office in the past few weeks over allegations of sympathising with her and decampaigning Mugabe and his wife First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Mujuru in a statement last night also threatened to take legal action against senior party officials and the State media for tarnishing her “good” image.
Part of the statement read: “To you my fellow citizens, I say that I, Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru, am here to serve the people of Zimbabwe, and the party Zanu PF, that I have always been a member of.
“No amount of malicious, hurtful and false statements about me, my late husband, my family, children , associates or business interests (real or imagined) can deter me from the mission at hand, that is to assist His Excellency President R G Mugabe in driving the social and economic programmes of his government to successful fruition.
“In so doing, I will forever be guided, by due process, and respect the Constitution of Zanu PF, and the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe.”
She added: “I believe that I carry a national responsibility as Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and that it is my duty to stay above partisan politicking.
“However, I have an equal obligation to you and His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe RG Mugabe, to only serve this nation, if I am and remain fit to do so. I regret that certain persons have elected to make false, unsubstantiated, malicious, defamatory and irresponsible statements about me, solely for the purpose of engineering their widespread publication in all forms of media across the world, and bringing the ruling party, Zanu PF (“the Party”), the government and the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, into disrepute.”
Mujuru said: “There has also been an unconstitutional call for my resignation and/or removal from BOTH Party and public office, on the spurious grounds that I am ‘corrupt’, ‘a gossiper’, ‘demonic’, ‘jealous and divisive’, ‘inept’ and ‘[that I am] unfit for consumption by flies and dogs’.
“In the interests of party and in keeping with its established protocol, I have previously chosen not to issue any statements.”
The Vice-President said she had been jolted to respond following an article published in The Sunday Mail yesterday, claiming that she was also involved in a plot to assassinate Mugabe.
“However, today, the 16th of November 2014, The Sunday Mail newspaper, in its banner head line story, has accused me of treason.
“I am accused of being involved in an attempt to overthrow the legitimate Zimbabwean Government led by His Excellency, the President and First Secretary of Zanu PF and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, RG Mugabe. This allegation is wholly untrue and cannot go unchallenged, in the national interest,” Mujuru said.
She added that she had decided to break her golden silence and defend herself “for and on behalf of all current and future national leaders who may face the same problem in future.
“I deny any and all the allegations of treason, corruption, incompetence, and misuse of public office being routinely made against me in The Herald and The Sunday Mail newspapers. I have briefed my legal practitioners to take the necessary steps, at law, to restore my good reputation, political standing and dignity. I stand ready to defend myself before the party, and in any court of law on any of the allegations made against me, at any time, in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe.”
Mugabe’s lieutenant, who last month was ordered by Grace to resign or face public humiliation at congress, yesterday said: “Leaders are elected by the people to serve the people. I am an elected servant of the people of Zimbabwe and as such, I can only serve this country in any capacity, when elected by the people. Unbridled ambition, misplaced self-righteous adulation and hubris, offends the Lord, and can only lead to the ruin of the person(s), and the party and therefore Government.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Investment Authority chairman Nigel Chanakira yesterday dissociated himself from allegations that he was at the centre of a planned “palace coup” to topple Mugabe.
This follows allegations by the State media that Chanakira and Zanu PF Mashonaland East chairman Ray Kaukonde were leading a cliqué of businesspeople who were financing an elaborate plot by Vice-President Joice Mujuru to unseat Mugabe.
The Kingdom Bank founder took to microblogging site Twitter to defend himself, saying he had not been afforded a chance to comment by the weekly The Sunday Mail.
“What disgusting lies? I am shocked that The Sunday Mail can print such nonsense, when I have been outside of Zimbabwe,” Chanakira wrote in response to questions whether he was complicit in the affair.
The two were accused of pinning their business hopes on strategically advancing Mujuru’s agenda.