OUTGOING Zanu PF Second Secretary Joice Mujuru seemed to thumb her nose at President Robert Mugabe by unexpectedly arriving at Stodart Hall in Mbare Sunday morning to pay her last respects to the National Hero, diplomat Kotsho LIody Dube, who died in his sleep last week.
Vice President Mujuru arrived in her official government vehicle and some security details tried to block her but she forced herself into the hall.
Mugabe and his wife were yet to arrive at the venue.
Some government ministers who were already inside including Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa stood up as per protocol but she ignored them totally.
Mujuru went straight to the bereaved family and paid her condolences and instead of joining other government officials she quietly walked out and left the venue.
When she was outside some Zanu PF supporters in party regalia booed her but she ignored them and drove off.
A witness said: “Some police officers and plain clothes security personnel tried to stop her but they failed as she forced herself in”.
“She went straight to where Dube’s widow Agatha and family were sittingachibva abata maoko and left.
“We thought she was going to join other government officials but she surprised everybody by walking past them to her vehicle which was just close to the entrance”.
Commenting on Mujuru’s behaviour political analyst Gift Mabheka said she was sending a message to some ignorant Zanu PF supporters.
“Attending the funeral and paying her last respect, Mujuru is reminding some people that she is still in government and not the party, because there is a difference between the two”.
“However this could be her last official appearance at a national event as VP as she is set to kiss goodbye to her official duties in few days’ time because of the amendments made to the Zanu PF constitution”.
Later on she did not attend the burial at Heroes Acre. Mujuru did not attend the just ended Zanu PF 6th National Congress which ended Saturday either and did not even bother to explain her action.
The government mouth piece, the Sunday Mail, reported that they had been informed by an unnamed source that Mugabe had wanted to appoint Mujuru in another capacity with less influence.
“But her conspicuous absence demonstrated total disregard for the party and its members and lack of remorse for her leading role in the plot to unseat the first family”, said the Sunday Mail.
Addressing thousands of his party supporters Mugabe said Mujuru should have come for elections. He said: “Mujuru was free to come for elections, we never blocked her; she is at her home as we speak”.
But ahead of the congress it was reported that thugs and youths had been hired to heckle and embarrass Mujuru. This was confirmed by Zanu PF Harare league chairperson Godwin Gomwe when he said that youths will not allow Mujuru to come to the congress and sit next to Mugabe.