Is Mai Mujuru still OK?


Joice Mujuru is the only legitimate successor to President Robert Mugabe at the moment but she has been making so many goofs this year, as the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front heads for its elective congress, that this raises questions about her suitability to lead the nation.

She seems to jittery that one can hardly believe that she has been Vice-President for 10 years and acting President several times.

Mujuru made her first goof last year after a memorial service for her late husband, Solomon Mujuru, who died in a mysterious fire in 2011, when she stated that she was ready to take over from Mugabe.

“We know that the President will soon be 90 and God might decide to call him,” she told The Daily News.”ZANU- PF will never die because President Mugabe is no longer there. There are people who now can lead the party. He has taught us a lot on how to lead the party.”

Though 90, it seemed Mujuru was already wishing Mugabe dead, which is unheard of in local custom.

She committed the second suicidal mistake in February this year at the height of the salary-gate scandal when she told women in Mashonaland West that those exposing corruption in parastatals and state enterprises were detractors bent on destroying the government.

At the time, people were upset that some individuals earned more than US$500 000 a month, enough to pay 613 junior civil servants for a whole year.

“Nditeererei madzimai, chandiri kukuudzai ndochinhu chekupedzisira. Iyi nyaya yatiri kutaura iyi yehuori hwemaparastatals muchenjere kuti ndeimwe nzira yaunzwa nevanhu vari kuda kupwanya nyika ino iyi. Vari kuziva kuti chii chakabata nyika yeZimbabwe. They know what is done by our parastatals. They will go and talk to some of our people and do what is happening. Vanotaura kuti kana tabva kuZBC, toenda kuZESA, toenda kuZINWA. Regai kuzoti vanhu vacho havasi veZANU-PF, aiwa, zvinonzi kana usingagone kumukurira unomujoina, worova uchibva mukati make, saka mochenjera. Saka tiri kuti nyaya iri mumaoko mehofisi President,” she said.

Her address upset so many people that it was posted on You Tube for the world to hear for itself.

Although Mai Mujuru toned down her comments after that, she sprung up again after the Youths and Women’s conferences, with the latest gaff being at the weekend when she said, inadvertently, that she cannot fight anyone who is her junior.

Though the story was aimed at showing that she did not lead any faction and belonged to the Mugabe faction and could therefore not push him out as she was his deputy, some sections are insinuating that her statement that “..I can’t fight anybody who is junior to me because I already have the position”, meant that she was only after Mugabe.

But the biggest gaff, if she was quoted correctly, was her statement about India and its diamond polishing hub, Surat. Mujuru is reported to have said that Surat was built from smuggled diamonds from Zimbabwe.

“Iye zvino vakutaura kuti kuChiadzwa hakusisina mangoda. Hanzi akapera, asi hapana kana mukadzi ane mhete kana ring ribodzi zvaro. Hapana kana anonzi akapinda basa rekupolisha matombo iwayo asi ukaenda kuIndia vanedhorobha rakakura ravakavaka nematombo ekuChiadzwa. Inonzi Surat … Asi isu tirikungonanzva madziro semapete. Aiwa, hurumende yati kwete,” she was quoted as saying.

This was a spat in the face of investors as Mujuru has sold herself as a reformist in ZANU-PF who will bring in foreign investment. The other camp is said to be pro-indigenisation which is reportedly scaring investors away.

While there might have been rampant smuggling of diamonds, it is folly to claim that Surat was built from Zimbabwe diamonds because Zimbabwe’s first diamonds were only produced in 1996 at River Ranch while the Marange fields, where most of the smuggling is allegedly taking place only came on line in 2006.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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