I couldn't speak fluent English: Mujuru

HARARE - Vice President Joice Mujuru has revealed she avoided making public appearances when she was appointed minister in 1980 because she could not speak fluent English.

She told a 2013 Zimtrade Annual Exporters’ Conference in Harare yesterday that former Midlands governor Cephas Msipa did almost all the work including reading speeches on her behalf even when she was present, after being appointed  Youth, Sports and Recreation minister in 1980.

Mujuru, the youngest minister ever appointed in the country and known by her nom-de-guerre Teurai Ropa during the Rhodesian bush war described the queen’s language as awkward.

“I want to thank sekuru Msipa for mentoring me well when I became the youngest minister in the government of the day.

“He helped me become who I am because I used to send him to speak on my behalf at big gatherings as I was not used to that.

“This was not because I was busy, but because I was not able to speak this awkward language (English) I am using now,” Mujuru said, now a proud holder of a Masters’ degree.

Born in the North-eastern district of Mt Darwin, Mujuru joined the liberation struggle after just completing two years of her secondary education.

As vice president of both the country and the ruling Zanu PF party, Mujuru is considered to be the likely successor to President Robert Mugabe for both the party and national leadership.

She told delegates the conference’s theme “Value Chain Business Models —The Key to Export Competitiveness” was well-timed as it resonates with the national policy that emphasises capacitating the country’s manufacturing sector.

Mujuru bemoaned the “influx of substandard products” on the market and urged local business to be proactive to ensure the country’s exports are improved.

“Government is concerned with the current trends where the country’s capacity utilisation has dropped to 39 percent from 44,9 percent in 2012 and 57,2 in 2011.

“We were shocked in Cabinet when it was revealed that there were more beer-halls at most growth points than the manufacturing sector.

“What was more saddening is the fact that the majority of the patrons at these bottle stores are our young men and women.

“It shows there is lack of innovation because these areas must be our last places to be after a good day’s work to feed our families,” she said.

The former freedom fighter said government had at Cabinet level, discussed the need to take a look into the pricing system of basic commodities.

Mujuru said there was need for a change of mindset in the retail sector which she said was still stuck in the pre-multi-currency regime which led them to hike prices unnecessarily.

“Our mentality is still in the Zimbabwe dollar era. There is need to realise that what we are now using is real currency, hard currency so we need to make sure our pricing system recognises that fact,” she said.

Comments (26)

The VP strikes me as very mature and focused from time to time. It is only when she goes into the Zanu (PF) mindset that I get worried. If the English language is as awkward as she would have her audience believe then why is she using it? She is at liberty to use Shona or any other of the indigenous languages and get a translator where the audience is cosmopolitan. Ko Inga wani maprophets amazuva ano aya anozviita every Sunday? What I find ridiculous is that for the VP to be as smart as she is now, she studied in the very language she calls awkward.......hypocrisy!!!!!

Isidore Mutungagore - 25 October 2013

English, English , the white queen's language in an African country.This is the reason why the British sees themselves as superiors over us. Why are we not proud of our own native local language.Take a leaf from the orientals .We seem to have been colonised in every aspect-language,names etc.Why not take another masters in shona.

comrade - 25 October 2013

So is she able to speak it any better now, me thinks not.

oliver wkwaMutare - 25 October 2013

She is being honest and at the same time motivating others who might be suffering from english phobia

crocodile squad - 25 October 2013

Our manufacturing industries will never compete with those cheap and substandard Chinese products as long as gvt does not intervene and provide subsidies ,after all these Chinese are your friends you might be getting kickbacks in the process killing our industries

granger - 25 October 2013

“We were shocked in Cabinet when it was revealed that there were more beer-halls at most growth points than the manufacturing sector". Your english may have improved VP, for me it was never an issue, but you need to work on your thinking if the above statement is true.

TM - 25 October 2013

Is speaking fluent English an achievement?

jurist - 25 October 2013

Chakabaya chikatyokera nanhasi zvirikungonetsa. Zvasiya nepfuti mothers!!!

watiki - 25 October 2013

@Comrade muri kunyorereyi pachirongwa chino nerurimi gwaMambokadzi muchena kana muchiona kuti ndosaka vachitidzwinyirira? Ndopfungwa dzeZanu chaidzo dzekuputira vanhu uso imwi muchimora Marange yese uku. Kuvanda kukonewa kutonga nemasanctions kufana nekuviga uso seri kwechigumwe.

Chen Chikezha - 25 October 2013

I think she is a sober minded person who has improved with time. Her appreciation of things around has greatly improved and I am one of those who believe she would be better than all the current contestants for the top job. She has my support.

fokolo - 25 October 2013

Amai, speaking english is not an achievement!! its not what you say that really matters but what you do after you have spoken. NOW that you have learned to speak well what have you done for the country? Right now the country doesnt need your english it needs solutions to the ailing economy, unemployment, health and so on. Whats so disappointing is that the more you got better with english the more the country is falling apart. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU????? Amai Mujuru

martin - 26 October 2013

Taurai na cde chinos vaitewo the same process.

Mda - 26 October 2013

English is a colonialist language. it's use in Africa was to drain Ubuntu from Africans. The colonialist brainwashed Africans to the extend that Africans were and are ashamed of themselves Madam you could have easily spoke in Shona or Ndebele. What languages do the Chinese speak? What about Russians? After having fought in the liberation war, I presumed you had the fire of Pan Africanism still burning in you!

Sam Khumalo - 26 October 2013

@Mda Hatinei nechirungu mpfanami patakatora nyika taiva neparamente said Cde Chinotimba so kwavari havana dhiri nacho

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 26 October 2013

pliz mai mujuru dont u dare lie kuti mavakugona english muchiri kure nayo and lets encourage one another to use our local languages and develop our businesses kwete the chinese way

gishon mari - 26 October 2013

mhinduro gumo neshanu dzese dzakanyorwa nechirungu - dzese dzichikurudzira kushandiswa kweShona/Ndebele/mutauro. ZVAKAOMA

joshua - 27 October 2013

There is nothing wrong nekutadza kutaura chirungu Amai. If it was my wish, we would be teaching our children in our local languages. The power of a people is in their language. So there is nothing to be apologetic about kutadza kutaura chirungu

Mukorekore Mukuru - 27 October 2013

Haiwa varume navakadzi tisu maZimbabweans takazvibaya tega nokuti takaona sokuti munhu anozviti akadzidza akasataura neChirungu toti haagoni uye haana kudzidza. Mai Mujuru with due respect its not your problem its the generation you are living with now in the 21st century which forces you to react that way. We were brain washed by colonialists to think that by speaking in english is a sign of being educated. At a BIG gathering a respected person like you Hon. Mujuru if you speak in SHONA people will question your level of education WHY. However, speaking in english at a BIG gathering with different NATIONALITIES you will be trying to recognise those who might not understand SHONA, to me its not a sign of being educated. For example any one who want to study in Germany today, its a MUST to LEARN their Language, for day to day easy communication, if such a person returns to his native nation if he starts to communicate in Deutsch Language is it a sign of being educated. Lets be proud with our own Languages as Zimbabweans. God loves our languages as they are, like ALL other languages throughout the WORLD.

bednicho nyoni - 27 October 2013

To speak two or more languages is an advantage to anyone in the world. To be bi-lingual is good because if you speak your mother's tongue , you can speak to your fellow clansmen and women together and if you speak another language like English , you will be able to speak and understand what the the other English tribes are saying and the advantage is you will get a job in all English speaking countries and do business with all these other English speaking tribes. My best friend (who is a white Englishman) speaks Shona, Ndebele, Chinyanja , Swahili , French and English and to me for a white man to be able to speak all these languages it means , he is an intelligent man, because he has worked in Harare, Bulawayo, Kenya, France and he learnt to speak all these languages to his advantage. So people it is not a crime to speak English as second language , it is an advantage , I recommend that everybody should learn English as a second language , it adds points to your CVs.

Mhosva - 27 October 2013

Who cares....Msipha should have tapped that Ass...

Mfana Ka Sobhuku... - 28 October 2013

Hanya nani!!!!1

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 28 October 2013

Don't talk about speaking fluent languages, that's nonsense, I personally communicated with many people in Zulu, Spanish, French and even Sutu. The main thing is not talking fluently but the facts are suppose to be clearly deduced. Be proud of your own language. Like in Zim we should introduce learning all these subjects using Shona. I mean doing mathematics, history, geography, woodwork ... in shona

Local - 29 October 2013

Hanzi na Zuma don't think like an African, zvikanzi na Bob don't think like a European, now what do you want to think like. I personally don't want to think like an African. Takanyanyozambira mushana varungu vachifunga iye zvino Bob haabude mundege nekuda kwepfungwa dzavarungu. Isu tinogona kushandisa rusero chete.

Maita Manyuka - 29 October 2013

Maturity will show that there is nothing wrong said by the VP who is just telling her genuine life story and its challenges, also pointig out how ill the English language is. She never said anything about the language being any achievement but how it impeded her abilities. She has taken time to acknowledge the help offered her by Msipa. Thats really being humble and realistic. I think it helps if we use these forums to learn to be proper hearted and not rehearse hate which seems to be engulfing many.

The Corrector - 31 October 2013

Zvino munhu ngazviti wakadzidza apa usingatombozive kuti mutauro we wakasikwa naMwari mutauro wakakosha? Zvino munhu ungazvirove dundundu kuti une Masters asi pfungwa dzako dzakavharika zvekuti unotonyara mutauro wako nekuti unofungakuti ukautaura pakazara vanhu waratidza kusadzidza.? Zvino munhu ungashamatate pamberi pevanhu uchitaura kuti makashamisika kunzwa kuti magrowth points edu amgove mabeerhalls chete. Zvinhu zvakaitika karesa iwe urimutongiwenyika apa hauzvizive. Zvakaoma chokwadi. Ichochirungu chakatiuraya nepfungwa dzese. Takarasima kurwisa varungu tichiti ngavatipe hupfumiwhedu votipazve rusununguko rwedu. Tapedzanavo ndisu uyo takarasima kuvenga wedu mutauro ne edu maitiro ezvinhu, nazvo zvechirungu zvacho. Takazungaira zvinoshamisa chaizvo. Hanzi munhu agona kutaura chirungu agona kutonga, agona hutungamiri, anepfungwa dzakapinza, anoziva zvemitambo murume uyu nekuti makambonzwa chirungu chaanotaura. hanzi vakomana vebhora havana kudzidza nekuti havagone kutaura chirungu. Bhora rinotambwa nechirungu.? Nxaaaaaaaaa

Obey Chiyangwa - 1 November 2013

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