|Joice Runaida Mugari "Teurairopa" Mujuru|
|Former Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe|
|Preceded by||Simon Muzenda|
|Succeeded by||Emmerson Mnangagwa|
|Born|| Joice Runaida Mugari|
April 15, 1958
Mount Darwin, Mashonaland Central
|Spouse(s)||Solomon Mujuru (m. 1977–2011)|
|Children||4: Kumbirai Mujuru, Nyasha Del Campo, Kuzivakwashe Mujuru and Chipo Makoni|
Joice Runaida Mugari Mujuru is the interim president of new opposition political party in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe People First. She is former vice President of Zimbabwe, a position she has held from 2004 to December 2014. She is also former vice President of Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) a party she was expelled from on 2 April 2015. Mujuru is also known by her liberation war name Teurai ropa which loosely translates to Spill blood. In post colonial Zimbabwe, she became the youngest minister minister in the first cabinet of independent Zimbabwe.
- 1 Background
- 2 Educational Background
- 3 Political career
- 4 Ministerial Positions Held
- 5 The Inferno at Mujuru's Ruwa Farm
- 6 Controversy
- 7 The Mujuru Faction
- 8 The Assassination Plot
- 9 Response to Assassination Allegations
- 10 From Party VP to Ordinary Card Carrying Member
- 11 The Dismissal From Government
- 12 Mutasa Press Statement
- 13 Alleged Alliance with Dabengwa and Makoni
- 14 Expulsion from Zanu-PF
- 15 Formation of Zimbabwe People First
- 16 Scandals
- 17 Business Interests
- 18 Successes
- 19 Trivia
- 20 Latest News
- 21 References
Mujuru was born in Mt Darwin on 15 April 1958, Mashonaland Central, in northeastern Zimbabwe. She was one of 12 children born to peasant farmer parents. Joice Mujuru only did 2 years of high school and as a teenager left in 1973 to join the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). In 1977 she married the late General Solomon Mujuru who died 15 August 2011. Together have four daughters Kumbirai Mujuru, Nyasha Del Campo, Kuzivakwashe Mujuru and Chipo Makoni.
Joice Mujuru has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Management and Entrepreneurial Studies from Zimbabwe Women's University in Africa. On the 12th September 2014, Joice graduated with a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Arts Department of Philosophy. The thesis was titled "A strategic Exploratory Intrepreneurship Study of Sustainable Agricultural Business; Case Studies of Mitchel and Mitchel of Mashonaland East and Dotito Scheme of Mashonaland Central Province" and was said to be available at the University of Zimbabwe library. Her PhD thesis focused on Mitchel and Mitchel an agricultural Company based the farming town of Marondera in Mashonaland East Province. The company is a commercial venture and it produces horticultural projects which are imported to international markets for sale. She was capped by the President of Republic of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe. She graduated together with the first lady Grace Mugabe who earned a PhD in Sociology.
In 1974, Mujuru reportedly downed a helicopter thus earning norm-de-guerre of Teurai Ropa (spill blood). That same year she became a member of the general staff of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). She became a commander at Chimoi camp, Mozambique in 1976. In 1977 she became member of the central committee of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and secretary for women's affairs.
Ministerial Positions Held
- 1980 Member of parliament Mt Darwin West Parliamentary Seat, Mashonaland Central Province
- 1980-1985 Minister Youth, Sport and Recreation
- 1985-1988 Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office
- 1988-1992 Minister of Community Development,Co-operatives and Women's Affairs
- 1992-1996 Governor of Mashonaland Central
- 1996-1997 Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunications
- 1997-2004 Minister of Rural Resources and Water Development
- 2004-2014 Vice President of the ruling party ZANU PF and The Republic of Zimbabwe.
The Inferno at Mujuru's Ruwa Farm
In September 2014, the farm house of the former vice president was gutted by fire. It was reported that the fire was started by a relative who sought to kill a snake that had managed to gain entrance into the house. By the time the fire fighters got to the farm, the roof of the house had already been brought down by the inferno. Tendai, who is a son to the Mujuru's also highlighted that the fire was also an accident.
Factionalism in ZANU P.F
Mujuru has been openly accused of leading one of the main factions within the revolutionary party. It was believed that the faction was comprised of senior ZANU PF members who hold different offices in the party and government. These include Ray Kaukonde provincial party chairman for Mashonaland East Province, Rugare Gumbo ZANU PF party spokesperson, Didymus Mutasa, Senior Minister in the office of the President and Jabulani Sibanda a controversial war veterans leader. During the chaotic politburo meeting held at the party's headquarters in Harare in October 2014, President Robert Mugabe openly identified Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa as some of the leading factional leaders who had brought the party into disrepute. Apart from Mujuru's controversies in the political arena, she was at one point attacked by some sections of the public especially the feminists for not pushing for the interests of women. I was alleged that the former vice president argued that women who call for gender equity were failures in life. Various feminist groups were up in arms over these sentiments arguing that she was undermining the capabilities and initiatives of other women who are determined to succeed.
The Mujuru Faction
The so called Mujuru faction was a group of ZANU PF hardliners believed to be behind a massive campaign for Mujuru's rise to the presidency. This faction was believed to be led by Joice Mujuru and it enjoyed the support of people such as Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo, Webster Shamu, Simon Khaya Moyo, Themba Mliswa, Jabulani Sibanda and Ray Kaukonde. Besides these ZANU PF hardliners, Joice Mujuru was also believed to have won support of the bulk of the provincial leaders.
Mujuru Allies And Votes of No Confidence
After what were dubbed "meet the people" rallies by Grace Mugabe, there was a crusade by the anti-Mujuru faction to expel leaders who were opposing Grace Mugabe's rise to the position of the First secretary of the women's league which she was eyeing.
The first provincial chairman to be dethroned was Themba Mliswa of Mashonaland West province who was ousted through a vote of no confidence by the provincial executive committee. Mliswa was ousted on the grounds that he was abusing office and had also undermined the reputation of the party.
Calisto Gwanetsa who was provincial chairman for Masvingo province was ousted because he was believed to be supporting Joice Mujuru's campaign for presidency.
Machaya was also ousted through the vote of no confidence which had become fashionable in the ZANU PF party.
Andrew Langa who was the provincial chair for Matabeleland South province was also accused of sabotaging Grace Mugabe's "meet the people" rally held in the province. For this reason , he was believed to be linked to the Mujuru faction. He was ousted through a vote of no confidence.
In Masvingo province, Calisto Gwanetsa also suffered from the tide of demotion which was blowing in the revolutionary party. It was believed Gwanetsa, working together with some other party members such as Dzikamai Mavhaire was also working hand in hand with the Mujuru faction in a bid to succeed the nonagenarian leader.
The chairman of Bulawayo Calistus Ndlovu was accused by his subordinates of a number of crimes. Key among them was abuse of office which even called for prosecution in the courts. .
Sibanda was the leader of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association was also ousted after his "bedroom coup speech". In his speech, he accused Grace Mugabe of abusing state power through her relationship with Robert Mugabe.
Rugare Gumbo who was spokesperson of the party (ZANU PF) was ousted from his position due to his remarks which allegedly, were biased towards the Mujuru faction. He was accused by the war veterans of speaking not on behalf of the party but on behalf of a faction.
Between November and December 2014, dozens of ZANU PF leaders believed to be allied to the then vice president Mujuru were also expelled, suspended and removed from the party structures through votes of no confidence. Among these were cabinet ministers who were expelled from government and these include Olivia Muchena, Francis Nhema, Webster Shamu, Didymus Mutasa, Nicholas Goche among others.
The Assassination Plot
At the height of factional fights in the ZANU PF party, the Mujuru faction was accused for a number of crimes which warranted dismissal from both party and government. Besides the corruption allegations leveled against the country's former vice president, assassination allegations were also revealed by the state media The Sunday Mail on 16 November 2014.
The Sunday Mail, which was widely seen as a mouthpiece for the Zanu-PF party, claimed that Mujuru the vice-president was harbouring plans to succeed the 90-year-old leader. The newspaper cited legal experts who were calling for police to investigate the allegations. The assassination allegation was widely seen as just another salvo in the battle for the party's vice presidential position ahead of December 2015 elective congress.
At a series of rallies, Grace Mugabe accused vice president Mujuru, believed to be the West's preferred Mugabe replacement, of being a thief, and of plotting a coup against her husband. The allegations followed the suspension of many of Mujuru's key supporters within Zanu-PF at a meeting of the party's all-powerful politburo held in November 2014. Votes of no confidence were also passed against half of Zanu-PF's provincial chairmen, most of them known Mujuru. supporters.
In its shocking revelation, The Sunday Mail reported that two of Mujuru's closest allies Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa spoke of the assassination plan. It was also reported that a cabinet minister from Mashonaland Central province was also working with the Mujuru faction and had made contact with possible hit-men from South Africa and Israel.
Response to Assassination Allegations
On 17 November, following the allegations that she and her faction had planned to assassinated president Robert Mugabe, Mujuru released a press statement which was only sent to the independent media. It read: "This allegation which is wholly untrue and cannot go unchallenged, in the national interest.
Leaders are elected by the people to serve the people. I am an elected servant of people of Zimbabwe and as such I can only serve this country in any capacity, when elected by the people. Unbridled ambition, misplaced self-righteous adulation and hubris, offends the Lord, and can only lead to the ruin of the person (s), and the Party and therefore Government. Whilst I personally believe that “silence is golden”, in the face of such unprecedented , systematic and coordinated attacks on a serving Vice President of our beloved Zimbabwe, I have been obliged to make this statement, for and on behalf of all current and future national leaders who may face the same problem in future. 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, that is to assist His Excellency President R . G Mugabe in driving the social and economic programmes of his Government to successful fruition. In so doing, I will forever be guided, by due process, and respect the Constitution of Zanu Pf, and the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
I thank you, the people of Zimbabwe for your continued support.
From Party VP to Ordinary Card Carrying Member
In the run up to the December 2014 congress, after all her faction leaders had been removed from the provincial leadership positions by way of votes of no confidence, Mujuru herself failed to secure a nomination from her home province for the Central Committee. The Central Committee is the principal organ of the Zanu-PF Congress and it is from the Central Committee that members of the party's Politburo are drawn when the party President makes his appointments. Effectively therefore, Mujuru would not get any senior position nomination in the party. Facing this reality, Mujuru boycotted some of the Zanu-PF Politburo meetings and ultimately boycotted the party's Congress.
Speaking about the Congress boycott during the proceedings, Mugabe said Mujuru's boycott of the party's 6th National People's Congress had reduced her to an ordinary card carrying member. Mugabe also said Mujuru and her fellow faction leaders would not be expelled from the party but would be given the opportunity to learn the values of being a Zanu-PF member as ordinary card carrying members.
The Dismissal From Government
After mounting allegations of corruption, undermining judicial processes and an assassination attempt on the life of President Mugabe, it was eventually announced that Mujuru had been relieved of her post as the country's vice president. The news of Mujuru's dismissal came days after the conclusion of the December 2014 edition ZANU PF's 6th Congress which made many deliberations but had not made anything clear pertaining to the political future of Mujuru. It was also reported that official government communication had been made with Mujuru on Monday 8 December on which she was notified of her dismissal. Mujuru's dismissal from government was part of a major cabinet reshuffle in which other ministers like Webster Shamu and Dzikamai Mavhaire also suffered the same fate.
Recall from Parly
After her ouster from the presidium, Joice Mujuru's woes continued to mount as she was recalled from parliament as representative of Mt Darwin west parliamentary constituency. According to state media, Section 291 (9) c of the Constitution of Zimbabwe 2013 clearly stipulates that "...the seat of parliament shall become vacant upon becoming president or vice president". Furthermore, youths from her constituency are said to have launched complaints against incompetent leadership of Mujuru who was said to have sabotaged the community and ignored developmental issues which were at stake during her tenure of office.
Mutasa Press Statement
On 12 January, ousted ZANU PF Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa, issued a press statement dubbed Members of Zanu PF statement to the citizens of Zimbabwe, dismissing allegations levelled against Mujuru that she was planning to assassinate Mugabe. Mutasa dismissed these allegations levelled against Mujuru arguing that it was a plot masterminded by some so called party cadres who were on a relentless mission to tarnish the image of Mujuru, subsequently orchestrating his downfall. He also dismissed the party's 6th Congress held in December 2014 as unlawful together with all the amendments made to the party's constitution.
Notwithstanding this, it is apparent for one to note that, Mutasa in this press statement, addressed himself as the party's Secretary for Administration speaking on behalf of loyal ZANU PF members. It is most likely that Mutasa was speaking on behalf of all those ousted on the basis of supporting Mujuru's "sinister" motives, thus defying his purge from the party.
Mutasa also hinted that, loyal members of ZANU PF are determined to fight to restore the party's structure the way it was before the coming in of the so called "amafikizolo" clique whom he accused of destroying the party.
Alleged Alliance with Dabengwa and Makoni
Just a day after it was reported that Mutasa had issued a press statement arguing that Mujuru was innocent and also alleging that the 6th ZANU PF conference was a non event, it was also speculated that Joice Mujuru had made moves to join force with Dumiso Dabengwa and Simba Makoni. The aforementioned duo was said to have claimed that it was happy that Mujuru and her camp had seeen that ZANU PF was not the ideal party to lead Zimbabwe. However Mujuru had not made any comments on the matter.
Expulsion from Zanu-PF
Joice Mujuru was expelled from Zanu-PF on 2 April 2015 due to a multiplicity of allegations The expulsion was reported in the Herald the next day arguing that her "treacherous" tendencies dated as far back as 2004. The grounds for dismissal were said to include, "plotting to unconstitutionally remove the President and First Secretary of the party from office; orchestrating the Bhora Musango campaign to the detriment of the party's interests; orchestrating factionalism in the party thereby causing acrimonious divisions; abusing party structures to create a competing centre of national power; engaging in behaviour unbecoming of a Vice President and second secretary of the party; systematically collaborating and colluding with the enemy in a manner that undermines the party and risked bringing it into disrepute; engaging in activities that smack of corruption, engaging in criminal abuse of office, impugning, maligning and undermining the party and the President and providing leadership to the regime change agenda and Fifth Column politics within Zanu-PF".
Formation of Zimbabwe People First
After months of speculation, and apparently, preparing to launch her new party, Joice Mujuru finally announced the formation of Zimbabwe People First on 1 March 2016 at a press conference in Harare.
The local media reported that Mujuru received thousands of dollars from prospecting investors from Kenya and the United Arab Emirates. It was speculated that the foreigners wanted to invest in the mining industry and were made to pay bribes to the vice president. There Herald also reported that she also received money from Indian investors who wanted to invest on her family's duty-free shops located at the Harare International Airport. She is believed to have received a total of about USD$1 million violating the companies act and the incomes regulations. For these reasons, there were calls from the Grace Mugabe allies to probe Mujuru and hand her to the judiciary services for prosecution. The allegations were viewed as serious and called for the immediate resignation from office.
In another case of a growing litany of indiscretions, Vice President Joice Mujuru reportedly abused the power of her office and instructed Zimbabwe Revenue Authority top officials to facilitate the release of trucks carrying illegally imported chickens that were held at Beitbridge Border Post sometime in 2014 without paying duty. Zimra was said to be demanding over $4 million in outstanding tax from Harare businessman Mr Yaqub Dawson who sold the firm to VP Mujuru’s nephew Preston Goredema, Christopher Hokonya and Charles Karimazondo in December last year. Agreement of Sale documents seen by The Herald show that Mr Dawson sold Dawson Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd to DCH Development Consultants (Pvt) Ltd owned by Goredema and Hokonya in December last year, while the tax evasion charges arise from products imported without duty between March and October 2014.
After what appeared to be the politicisation of the Mujuru corruption allegations, the Zimbabwe Republic Police finally confirmed the allegations. The confirmation was made by the Police Assistant Commissioner inspector Charity Charamba who said the police were on the ground making preliminary investigations. This made the arrest of Mujuru somewhat imminent. It is however unclear what exactly were the police investigating since there were many allegations linked to the former vice president. These include abuse of office, undermining the authority of the president, treason, offenses, covering up criminal, factionalism, evading tax regulations, possession of stolen property, bribery and failure to repay loans.
She was also reported to have used her political muscle to stop the dismissal of her relative from Air Zimbabwe. The relative was identified as Tendai Mujuru, Air Zimbabwe’s corporate secretary who was eventually suspended following the poor performance of the parastatal. Tendai Mujuru together with Tendai Mahachi were suspended pending investigations for their alleged serious disruptions of the airline’s operations and services resulting in the fleet being grounded after running out of fuel.
She was accused of having looted money from a fund that was set up by the government for compensation for people that had been injured and physically disabled during the liberation war. It is alleged that she claimed 55% disability and collected Z$389,472 valued in excess of US$40,000 at the time. It is estimated that the compensation fund lost more than Z$112 billion or an equivalent of $450 million from the looting frenzy. Mujuru was also implicated in the stealing of ZiscoSteel funds together with other senior government officials bringing the company to its knees.
Mujuru owns a big business empire. The Mujuru family owns River Range diamond company headquartered in the leafy suburb of Gunhill in Harare. It is also believed that Mujuru was left in charge of a family company Marange Diamonds after the death of Solomon Mujuru. Her family also owns duty free shops located at the Harare International Airport.Mujuru has a company which specialises in poultry products. In 2012, she was involved in which she directed an official from the ministry of agriculture to give her company a permit to import poultry products from Brazil.
One of the greatest achievements Mujuru made was in 1980 when she was appointed cabinet minister at a very young age. She was one of the few women who managed to establish influence in the Zimbabwean political landscape when the country was just coming from war. In 2004, she made a landmark when she was appointed vice president after the death of Simon Muzenda.
- Joice Mujuru was the youngest cabinet minister in 1980 in independent Zimbabwe.
- Mujuru was married to the late Solomon Mujuru the former commander of ZANLA.
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