MT DARWIN - Embattled Vice President Joice Mujuru yesterday celebrated her recently acquired Doctorate Degree with her supporters in her rural community of Dotito, Mt Darwin, determined to overcome First Lady Grace Mugabe’s recent scathing attacks on her, and vowing cryptically that she would never “surrender”.
The massive graduation party attended by thousands of people from around the country, was held as information filtered out last night that the beleaguered widow of the late liberation war hero, Solomon Mujuru, was feeling confident about her chances of withstanding the current political storms buffeting her within Zanu PF.
It also emerged yesterday that Mugabe and Mujuru apparently met twice last week, after Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting and before Friday’s tense politburo gathering in Harare.
It is believed that Mujuru confronted Mugabe about his wife’s recent shocking attacks on her during the frank tête-à-tête engagements, where she also reportedly gave the president the green light to sanction a police probe into her if he believed Grace’s allegations.
Well-placed sources also told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that Mugabe did not appear to agree with his wife, particularly Grace’s public shellacking of Mujuru — a development that gave the under fire VP cause for optimism.
Another source said close Mujuru confidante, Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, also spent more than two hours alone with Mugabe before Friday’s politburo meeting, where assurances may have been given that the president would not allow the tense situation inside Zanu PF to get any worse.
Analysts canvassed by the Daily News on Sunday also described Mujuru’s holding of her graduation party as a sign of confidence that she had weathered the current vicious onslaught on her by Grace and her Zanu PF faction, at least for now.
Addressing the crowd at yesterday’s graduation party, amid deafening chants from her supporters of “Amai muri Huchi” (Mother you are Number One) and the derogatory “Pasi nezvipfukuto” (Down with weevils, targeted at her opponents), Mujuru revealed how hard studying for her PhD had been, and that her supervisor had been a Professor Chanetsa.
As she spoke, some of her supporters shouted provocatively that:
“Degree raMai Mujuru nderekushandira, harisi rekupihwa (Mujuru earned her degree which was not dubiously awarded to her) a thinly-veiled low blow aimed at the First Lady whose PhD has elicited much controversy.
She also narrated briefly her war history, saying it had been Mugabe who had encouraged her to join the liberation struggle, and vowed that she would never “surrender or sell out” President Robert Mugabe.
Mujuru has been sensationally accused of plotting to topple Mugabe by Grace.
“If I leave the President outside then that is not Teurai (her nom de guerre). When I left my biological father James, VaMugabe took over from where he had left. Ndivo vakanoita baba vangu kuhondo kusvika nhasi ndirikutaura pano (he is the one who become my father when I went to war),” she said.
Imploring party supporters to unite, Mujuru said all Zimbabweans should work in harmony.
“Ukada kupinda munyaya dzezvematongerwo enyika tinobvumirana. Pindaiapa, apa hamukwane apa mirai imimi mupinde apa. Chiregerai kurwadziwa mongoti Mwari mandinzwa. (If you join politics it’s fine),
“We just had elections last year and we are left with about three-and-a-half years before the next elections. From today let’s not attack each other,” she said in remarks that were interpreted by many as directed at Grace.
Regarded as a moderate, Mujuru said the ruling party was wasting time on trivial matters instead of looking ahead and seeking to help improve the lives of Zimbabweans.
“Nokuti nhasi uchamurova uchamutuka kwasare less than three years kuti umuti huya undivhotere anenge achine chigumburo newe. Tirikutora nguva yakawanda yakawandisisa tichiita zvisina mubhadharo, ahehwa, ndakuudzai kuti ndaakukwana 60 years. Ndirikufunga kuti chandinofanira kusiya ndaita chinoratidza kuti vaMugabe vakadyara mhodzi ino yakabuda yaita zvibereko kubatanidza vana vemusangano.
“Kubatanidza vana vemusangano. Ndoda kuti vaone kuti dzidzo yavakandipa yashanda. Handidi kuvashaisa hope kuti ndapa mwana wangu dzidzo chave chipandu pandu, chakufamba chishaisa vamwe vana,” Mujuru said.
She added that Mugabe has gone through enough and she would never sell him out.
“Ini mwana wavaMugabe handifi ndakatengesa vamwe vangu vari muna Kagombe na Karoyi, varikukamhina hazvigone,” she added. (I will never sellout).
“The education should help to organise even those who persecute us they should be told to join us. Even those who hate me you will you will like me when I give things that will change your life.
“Nyangwe ukasandifarira hazvigone nyangwe mese muripano hamungandide zvakafanana hazvimbondirwadza kuti haundidi asi pane acha benefita neezvandakupa.
“Ndinezvitadzo asi musanyepe, zvandingaite handiite. This is not a day about politics we came to talk about education and I am grateful to the President and Zanu PF. Now it’s my turn to unite the party tigare zvakanaka muruwadzano,” Mujuru said.
Harare and Manicaland youths, who have silently endured withering attacks from Grace shouted “nhasi ndezveduwo” (it’s our turn) and vowed that they would never let Zanu PF be destroyed by “weevils”.
Among the prominent people who attended yesterday’s graduation party were Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, Cabinet ministers Webster Shamu and Slyvester Nguni, former Cabinet minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Deputy minister Fortune Chasi, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairman Amos Midzi, popular war veteran Dick Chingaira and dozens of Members of Parliament.