Mujuru speaks on her wealth

HARARE - Former vice president Joice Mujuru has opened up on her wealth, dismissing claims that she is superrich, with interests in the diamond-rich Chiadzwa fields, as a joke.

Speaking on BBC’s Hardtalk, the ex-top Zanu PF official — turned President Robert Mugabe’s fierce rival — said she only owns a house and a farm.

“I only have a house, I only run a farm...which I am still negotiating with the owner,” she claimed.

Further asked to comment on reports that her late husband, retired general Solomon Mujuru, owned significant stakes in diamond firms and that she and her daughter were involved in selling of the highly-priced gems, she said:

“You think that if I had all that richness I would be suffering this much. You think since Mujuru died five years ago and they have now gone to trace his estate, they wouldn’t have said something about how rich he was.”

Mujuru said at the height of the allegations, a Cabinet team had been set up to investigate her alleged involvement in the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

The leader of the newly-formed National People’s Party said talk about her alleged involvement in Chiadzwa arose after she started running a horticultural community programme next to the mining field, adding that the produce was also being sold in London, United Kingdom.

“I am telling you the joke about the anthill, it was a joke because after they (authorities) had heard that they went to investigate as a Cabinet team . . . and they discovered that it was a joke because these people never saw me there,” Mujuru said, further stating that “I have never been a miner, I have never owned anything in terms of business, so they said no no no these were jokes that were going through between these two communities because they stay side by side”.

“I have never been involved in anything to do with diamonds. These are rumours, these are social media talks,” Mujuru said.

She once again dispelled corruption allegations that were levelled against her by Zanu PF officials during her expulsion from the ruling party in 2014, adding that if she were corrupt, she could have been arrested by now.

Mujuru said those who profited from corruption over the years must be held to account.

“Corruption has done a lot of damage to the economy and corruption is the worst thing, (it) is the enemy of what is existing in Zimbabwe today,” she said.

Mujuru said her aim was to transform Zanu PF from within, blaming the Executive for Gukurahundi atrocities where at least 20 000 civilians were massacred in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

Even though she accepted collective blame over what transpired during her tenure in government, Mujuru said that she was against most of the things that were happening.

She also said that she supported the full compensation of whites who lost their farms during the violent land reform programme, adding that she is in talks with the evicted owner of Ruzambo Farm (Alamein Farm) — which she now runs — Guy Watson-Smith in order to compensate him.

She also castigated the government’s indigenisation policy, which calls for foreign-owned companies to cede 51 percent of their shares to locals.

She said her party will repeal the law if it is voted into power, because it supports investment.

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