ZIMBABWE – The “manifesto” issued by Dr Joice Mujuru last week exposes her hypocrisy on a raft of issues rather than portraying her as a sincere politician with an unblemished record.
Examination of the statement in light of her recent history contrasts starkly with the actual reputation of the former Vice-President.
Chief among the document’s efforts is to project Dr Mujuru as an anti-corruption crusader who respects the rule of law.
It reads: “We shall respect and uphold the rule of law by treating all people equally before the law. All political leaders should be accountable to people first and observe State laws. We want our political leaders to be honest and have integrity and be trustworthy.”
The document waxes lyrical about Dr Mujuru’s commitment to constitutionalism, transparency and development:
“We are national democrats, guided by the values of the liberation struggle, of self determination, self-dignity, self-pride, expressed through the adoption of market-driven policies under a constitutional democracy, with the State acting as a facilitator and regulator to allow for a level playing field and provide equal opportunities for all.”
In February 2014, while acting as President, Dr Mujuru shocked the nation when she openly castigated the media for exposing corruption in Government.
Addressing the Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial women’s conference in Chinhoyi, she startlingly sought to protect corrupt public officials saying exposing them was retrogressive.
Dr Mujuru has also been accused of abusing her office when she was VP by engaging in illicit diamond deals, extorting shareholding from companies and demanding 10 percent kickbacks, earning her the sobriquet “Dr 10 Percent”.
She has also been accused of duping the ruler of Ras al Khaimah, Sheikh Saud Al Qasim of millions of dollars in botched diamond deals in a scandal that is said to have cost the country millions of dollars in potential investment.
The country also learnt that Dr Mujuru attempted to plunder diamonds from Marange diamond fields through African Consolidated Resources and this was only foiled at the highest level of Government.
Dr Mujuru, it was also alleged, was involved in illicit business dealings in which she signed for thousands of dollars in illegal cash payments from Kenyan and Indian financiers who had invested in the Mujuru family’s duty-free shops at Harare International Airport. She later elbowed out the investor in a manner that bordered on extortion, it is alleged.
Dr Mujuru is said to have then used her political office and status to compel lawyers representing the aggrieved parties to stop representing their clients; in addition to running the investors out of town after they had pumped over US$1 million into the business.
In another case of alleged corruption, Dr Mujuru got Secretary for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Mr Ringson Chitsiko to issue her family business with a permit to buy chickens from Brazil against a Government ban on such imports.
This was after she had allegedly struck a deal to import chickens from Brazil when she travelled to the South American country in 2011 on State business but used the opportunity to further family business.
Dr Mujuru was also at the centre of a high profile case of obstruction of justice after her daughter, Chipo, was involved in a fatal road accident which claimed two lives along Enterprise Road in Harare on December 10, 2012.
Chipo was unlicensed but the case never saw the light of day as she reportedly forced police to drop the matter.
Last year, Dr Mujuru reportedly used her influence to instruct Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials to facilitate release of trucks carrying illegally imported chickens that were held at Beitbridge Border Post.
The scandal prejudiced Zimra of US$4 million.
While Dr Mujuru’s manifesto speaks of the respect of property rights, her record in that respect is also deplorable.
Businessman Mr Tawanda Nyambirai early this year accused Dr Mujuru and her late husband, General (Retired) Solomon Mujuru of pushing him out of three farms.
Nyambirai filed High Court papers seeking to repossess Kopje Allen, The Beach and Rusfontein farms, which were allegedly acquired by some Zanu-PF officials with the blessing of the couple in 2002.
It is these and other abuses of office that saw her sacked from Government and the ruling Zanu-PF in later 2014.
Watch Mujuru speaks about corruption