VICE-President Joice Mujuru said yesterday that she was not perfect but people should not accuse her of crimes that she had not committed.
by EVERSON MUSHAVA
The remarks were a major rebuttal to claims made by First Lady Grace Mugabe that she was incompetent, corrupt and wanted to wrestle power from President Robert Mugabe.
“Hongu semunhu ndine zvitadzo, handingarambe. Asi musandipawo zvandisina,” [As a human being, I have weaknesses, but people should not make false claims about me] Mujuru said at a party held in Dotito to celebrate her attainment of a PhD qualification last month.
“Today is not a day to talk about politics; it is a day to thank President [Robert] Mugabe that I now have a PhD qualification and he should now expect me to unite his people,” she said.
“Some people might hate me simply because they dislike my face.
It is not my fault that I might have an ugly face, but God might be proud of me. I say, don’t despise me because of how I look, but [look at ] what I can do.”
Mujuru said education should help unite people, “even those who do not like me. I know they would like me after I have transformed their lives”.
“It will not however pain me if you don’t like me, as long as others can benefit from my work,” she said.
Mujuru said she has no one else to thank for her educational achievement except Mugabe, who kept on giving her pressure to study through giving her positions that demanded her to be educated.
She said she wished to unite Zanu PF supporters rather than divide them and give Mugabe more sleepless nights when sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe had already given the veteran leader enough headaches.
She implored Zanu PF members to avoid insulting each other, saying wounds would remain fresh until 2018 when candidates would seek re-election.
Commending Mugabe for his strong policy on education, Mujuru spoke of the benefits of educating the girl child, urging girls to get an education first before going into marriage.
“You should not show off your educational achievements,” Mujuru said, much to her guests’ excitement.
She took the over 3 000 supporters who gathered at Dotito Government Primary School through her educational journey after she dropped out of school while in Form two to join the liberation struggle.
During the colourful event, Mujuru’s loyalists turned the tables on a faction led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa by chanting slogans denouncing the group.
In an open retaliation to Pasi ne Gamatox [down with Gamatox] slogan that was being chanted by the Mnangagwa faction at rallies addressed by Grace across the country, Mujuru loyalists hit back yesterday with slogans such as “down with weevils and gay gangsters.”
Before Mujuru’s address, Mashonaland Central Province deputy chair Sydney Chidamba said Mujuru was key to the electoral success of Zanu PF, saying Mashonaland Central, with a 95% electoral victory for Zanu PF in the previous elections, gave direction to Zanu PF.
“We want to say the truth; Mugabe won resoundingly here because of Mujuru. We are proud of her as a province. In Zanu PF, we have others who want to distort history [madhonza anoisa ndove pachain achirima],” he said.
“When she left school and joined the liberation struggle, others were still at pre-school,” Chidamba said, to which the crowd responded by shouting “Grace, Grace”.
Chidamba likened Mujuru to “Mbuya Nehanda” of the province, amid ululations with the crowd shouting, “She is our mother, not Grace, our step-mother who should go back to the typing pool than join politics”.
Grace was Mugabe’s secretary before she became the first lady.
Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Temba Mliswa denounced The Herald newspaper for taking a position and perpetrating factionalism in Zanu PF.
He said the “weevils” were lying to Mugabe to win his favours.
Youths and women were belting out a song with lyrics to the effect that “Mai Mujuru will not go anywhere, we will support her forever.”
Mujuru said she would never betray men and women who fought during the liberation struggle.
The celebrations were attended by Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, political commissar Webster Shamu, who burst into song praising Mugabe and Zanu PF, Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo, Justice deputy minister Fortune Chasi, politburo members Tshinga Dube and Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and over a dozen legislators from the province and other provinces.
The legislators from other provinces included Enock Porusingazi (Chipinge South) and Amos Midzi (Epworth and Harare province chairman) among others.