HARARE – Former Vice President Joice Mujuru last night angrily denied claims by President Robert Mugabe and the post-congress Zanu PF that she ever plotted to oust and assassinate him, warning the nonagenarian that her plans to form a political party under the People First banner were alive and well.
In a statement last night, Mujuru — who was fired from the ruling party late last year over untested allegations of plotting to oust and kill Mugabe — said she was getting increasingly irritated by the abuse she was getting from the 91-year-old and his wife, Grace.
She insisted, however, that the abuse would not deter her from pushing forward with the People First project as she was free “to do what I want in a free Zimbabwe”.
Mujuru also challenged Mugabe to “take her to court” over the various allegations that had been levelled against her by Zanu PF bigwigs, including those related to treason and corruption.
Ever since Mujuru was kicked out of the post-congress Zanu PF and subsequently linked to the People First movement, ruling party bigwigs led by Mugabe himself have taken turns to accuse the decorated war heroine of all kinds of evil deeds.
The abuse worsened when suggestions emerged that Mujuru and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai were contemplating reaching an electoral pact to challenge Mugabe in the eagerly anticipated 2018 national elections.
Speaking in Gweru at the weekend, Mugabe once again lashed Mujuru for having plotted against him. At the same time, the First Lady has also continued to savage Solomon Mujuru’s widow at her ongoing “Meet the People” rallies.
“Vamwe vakadzimara vabuda pachena vana Mai Mujuru kuti vakuda kuti vauraye vakuru vatore umambo nechisimba sezvakaitwa VaKabila (Laurent) (Some like Mujuru wanted to assassinate me Kabila style)” said Mugabe.
“I did not think that after fighting the colonialist and defeated them Mai Mujuru and Gumbo will betray us saying they want to dislodge me from power and now we say to them you are now traitors, pasi nemhandu (down with traitors), he added.
“In the past week, there has been an unusual amount of abuse leveled against me in public statements made by… Mugabe and the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe.
Unfortunately, the statements are not founded in truth,” Mujuru said.
“When I denied these allegations a year ago, I challenged the authorities to take action in a court of law against me. This is still to happen. I was accused of plotting to overthrow the president. I was accused of visiting witch doctors for assistance and that I betrayed the ethos and values of the liberation struggle. I did nothing wrong,” she said, adding that as a true Christian she “does not partake in such events”.
Further, she added: “Lately, I have been said to be a part of People First as if it is a crime. I am free to do whatever I choose to do with my life outside Zanu PF. It is part of the political freedom I fought for when we went to war. This is enshrined in our State Constitution. We should desist from thinking and believing that any other political party is illegal or unconstitutional for that matter.”
“Zimbabweans are free to choose whom they wish to lead them or what party they want to join or support. Let’s put our People First and avoid focusing an entire nation’s energy on denigrating a poor widow who is quietly, lawfully and constitutionally pursuing her own wishes outside Zanu PF,” Mujuru said.
“Let us BUILD Zimbabwe together by putting our People First,” she said in the short, but hard-hitting statement.