THE First Family is now playing dirty in its fight against a coup plot by vice president Joice Mujuru, allegations the latter vehemently rejected in a statement Monday which effectively dared President Robert Mugabe to sack her.
The Mugabes claim that Mujuru, impatient to take over as president and frustrated by the 90-year-old incumbent’s refusal to step down, has been working on a plot to topple the veteran leader at Zanu PF’s congress next month.
To thwart the alleged plot, a vicious campaign has since been launched to scandalise Mujuru and First Lady Grace Mugabe has led the charge, accusing the vice president of grand corruption, incompetence and treason.
Top Zanu PF officials thought to have been backing Mujuru to eventually take over from Mugabe have either been suspended from their positions or expelled as in the case of Jabulani Sibanda who was also removed as war veterans leader.
Others have been forced to switch sides through “persuasion, intimidation and threats”.
And on Monday Grace showed that the First Family was even engaging in the stuff of espionage fiction in its desperate bid to retain power.
Addressing supporters at her Mazowe compound, Grace claimed to have successfully set up a trap for Mujuru, adding the VP tried to seduce her spy.
“I set up Mujuru and I now have recording of her in a mini-skirt, speaking ill of me and the president … ngaaende izvozvo,” she said.
“I set a trap … told someone closer to her to record her, she was recorded while she was wearing a mini-skirt, I don’t know whether she wanted to lure this person or not because the way she was dressing it’s embarrassing for a person of a vice president.
“Do you know what she was saying in that video? She was saying why is Grace not telling her husband to step down?”
Grace did not say where the recording was made but the vice president could not have been at her offices if she was inappropriately dressed as the First Lady claimed.
In a post on his Facebook wall Monday night, opposition politician and former education minister, David Coltart, said Grace had crossed the line.
Wrote Coltart: “In view of the quite remarkable things said on ZBC this (Monday) evening by Grace Mugabe about Vice President Joice Mujuru, in particular about video recordings of Mujuru in her home, it is pertinent to recall the provisions of Section 57 of the Zimbabwe Constitution which state:
“Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have:
a) their home entered without their permission;
d) the privacy of their communications infringed.”
“Section 51 is also relevant – the right to human dignity which states “Every person has inherent dignity in their private and public life, and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.”
He added: “An unacceptable line has been crossed this evening.”
Grace however, said she had more such recordings and threatened to make them public if Mujuru does not heed her demands that she quits office.
“This is nothing, there is more to come,” said the First Lady. “She (Mujuru) must just go than to be fired.”
A defiant Mujuru issued a defiant statement Monday saying she would not resign and effectively challenging Mugabe to fire her.
“I am an elected servant of the people of Zimbabwe …” said Mujuru.
“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 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.
“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.”