Joice Mujuru photographed farming

By Drum Digital
11 March 2015

As she inspects her crops in a baggy red T-shirt and trainers, former vice president Joice Mujuru could be any Zimbabwean farmer.

Photos of Mujuru, who was sacked in December after a rage-filled campaign against her led by president Robert Mugabe's wife Grace, emerged in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, provoking declarations of devotion, and a few questions, from dozens of Zimbabweans.

The three photos of Mujuru, 59, walking through her crops were posted on a community Facebook page set up in support of the former vice president, who until recently was a strong contender to succeed Mugabe.

"That's my mum, true daughter of the soil, we love you," said Facebook user Frank Garufu, one of hundreds who responded to the post.

Wrote Samuel Takadzwa: "Great going madam boss."

Sidelining Mujuru and her supporters at the end of 2014, Mugabe said they would be freed up to farm.

"They will have more time to do their farming, to grow maize and potatoes," he commented bitterly.

Mujuru appears to be doing just as she was told -- though the Facebook page hints that she has other things to do. The three photos are captioned "Meanwhile let's go to the spare time". The hashtag #bosslady was also used.

Mujuru, whose husband Solomon died in a fire in 2011, owns Ruzambo Farm in central Mashonaland East province. She keeps cattle and grows tobacco.

She remained silent and out of the public eye until last week when she issued a statement accusing Mugabe of making "sexually lewd allegations" against her at his 91st birthday party. He said she consulted Nigerian sangomas in a bid to try to oust him, and went around topless while doing so.

Analysts believe Mujuru's popularity has grown in the past few months.

State media has hinted that she may be prosecuted for allegedly trying to topple Mugabe. She says she did nothing of the sort.

"Lead by example momz, that's a great job," said Ozigray Kupara on Facebook.

Norman Motsi wrote: "I wish... it was possible for us to go and form our country somewhere which you will be the president."

But there were some critical voices from Zimbabweans weary of continuing economic problems in a country that was once the bread-basket of southern Africa.

Posted Langton Dzenga: "No time to sympathise with these ZANU-PF people. Whether u were fired or not, u contributed to our suffering."


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