Zimbabwe

It's a smear campaign' – Zim's VP Mujuru

2014-12-09 11:45
Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru (AFP)

Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru (AFP)

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Harare - Zimbabwe's under-fire vice president Joice Mujuru said on Tuesday she was the victim of a smear campaign and claimed there was "not one iota of evidence" to back up claims she plotted to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

"Allegations that I alone or together with various distinguished comrades have sought to or attempted to remove his Excellency RG Mugabe from office are ridiculous," Mujuru, 59, said in a statement to the private press.

Mujuru remains vice president this week although the 90-year-old president has hinted she "said goodbye" to her position by boycotting a national party congress that ended on Saturday.

The watershed event, attended by a record 12 000 delegates, was preceded by two months of bitter accusations against Mujuru, an ex-army commander's widow, fronted by state media and Mugabe's wife first lady Grace Mugabe.

Public humiliation

State media is in the hands of Mujuru's main rival Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose faction now appears to have the upper hand in Zanu-PF and the internal party fight for power in a post-Mugabe era.

Mujuru said state media had published "malicious untruths" about her -and linked it to a pronouncement she made early in 2014 when she said that Mugabe's party had been infiltrated by a group that wanted to destroy Zanu-PF from within.

"A vociferous attempt has been made to portray me as a traitor, murderer, and sell-out, yet not a single iota of evidence has been produced to give credence to these allegations," she said.

Mujuru said she had boycotted last week's congress to avoid "inevitable public humiliation".

She added: "Let it be known that I am loyal to the president and faithful to my party and its leader."

The Zimbabwean president has said he will announce a new politburo on Wednesday or Thursday after many of Mujuru's allies were ousted from Zanu-PF's central committee, the pool from which Mugabe takes his politburo.

Recent changes to Zimbabwe's constitution make it much easier for Mugabe to fire his deputies.

Read more on:    joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  grace mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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