PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE HONOURABLE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, AND MEMBER OF THE RULING PARTY, ZANU PF – HONOURABLE DR. JOICE TEURAI ROPA MUJURU, TO THE CITIZENS OF ZIMBABWE.
Dear Comrades, friends, fellow citizens and countrymen:
I am grateful to the Lord that I am able to address you once again, despite the ever present but still unlawful threats against my person. The State Media, has continued to publish malicious untruths about me in the run up to, and after the 6th Congress of the ruling Zanu PF party.
Having listened intently to the numerous unfounded allegations levelled against me, I feel compelled to correct these unsubstantiated statements, misconceptions, lies being communicated to His Excellency The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Comrade R G Mugabe, and the general public.
As a law abiding citizen of Zimbabwe, I abhor the very notion that an elected President or Government of the day can be removed from office through wrongful or unlawful means.
The allegations that I, alone, or (together with various distinguished Comrades) have sought to or attempted to remove His Excellency R G Mugabe from office are ridiculous.
Earlier this year, in Chinhoyi, I had occasion to state publicly that the Zanu PF Party had been infiltrated by a group of persons with nefarious intent, whose objective is to destroy the Party from within. As a result of my objections to this agenda, I have become the fly in a web of lies whose final objective is the destruction of Zanu PF and what it stands for and ultimately the present Government of H.E R G Mugabe.
A vociforous 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 the allegations.
Alleged practice of “witchcraft”:
Were it not that the allegations of the practice of “witchcraft “ have been made in relation to a very serious matter, I would not have been concerned. Suffice to say that I am and have always been a God fearing person and would not and have not resorted to witchraft to advance my political career. Support comes from the people, it cannot be divined under cover of darkness.
Association with the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe:
I was invited to be Patron of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe, which represents at least 700 apostolic Christian churches in Zimbabwe, as long ago as January 2011. This was with the full consent and blessing of His Excellency. I have since then, with the full knowledge of the Head of State, attended numerous church gatherings, as Patron and also as Vice President. There has never been any clandestine or unlawful gatherings that I have been a part of.
Alleged incompetence and ineptitude
In my position of Vice President, I had numerous responsibilities including mid-last year, the duty to campaign (amongst others) for the Party in the national elections. I personally held and attended 43 campaign rallies all over Zimbabwe in a three week period, often at great personal expense, and happily losing 4kgs in that period! The result of the 2013 elections has been recorded in history, and I believe I played my part in the outcome.
Having been Vice President for the past 10 years, I am perplexed that allegations of ineptitude only arose a few weeks before Congress.
The position of women in Zimbabwean Society
I believe that I have advanced national causes as Vice President, and especially issues that affect the family, women, youth and children – successfully. We the women of Zimbabwe are legally, and constitutionally – equal citizens to men, we should not be derided or treated as second class citizens in our society which is supposed to be modern and progressive.
Threats against my life and person
Towards the 6th Zanu PF Congress, the forces at work in the Party realized that I was not and would not resign any of my public or party positions on flimsy or contrived grounds. Therefore, their strategy moved from being one of persistent denigration and defamation in the national state media and newspapers, to one of direct threats against my person and life.
My agents were wrongfully and unlawfully prevented from submitting my nomination papers for the Congress and subsequently the state media and newspapers advised me that my life and person was at risk if I attended the Congress. In the interests of public order, and given that this unprecedented “screening”of delegates was unchallenged by the Party Leadership, I decided to stay away from the inevitable public humiliation as was meted out to other unfortunate members of the Party. I made my fears known to the Party Leadership. It was important to maintain the dignity of the office of the Vice President even in the face of such unwarranted violence by a section the party membership.
Simplicity- thy name is Teurai
Fellow Zimbabweans, I regret that I must accept, one of the allegations. I am a simple village girl from Dotito. I went to join the liberation war at the age of 18 years and when I first became cabinet minister in 1980 I could hardly speak, read or write English! Through encouragement from His Excellency, I went to night school and over the years have systematically and diligently improved myself academically (just as many of you have done over the years) culminating in the recent doctorate degree from the University of Zimbabwe.
There are a few practical truths that I must share, which I appreciate all the time.
Zimbabweans are crying out for solutions to the simple problems we have:
- how to put food on the table, how to obtain healthcare,
- sending our children to school
- providing transport for them and restoring the transport infrastructure,
- keeping our cities clean,
- and restoring electricity to all urban households together with clean running water.
- It is these simple problems that I have dedicated my life and career to and will continue to pursue.
I maintain that I am, and remain, a law-abiding citizen who has not been involved in any criminal activity. The reported accusations of criminal conduct are based on the alleged actions of third parties who the state media has tenuously linked to me out of desperation. This approach can only be explained as a well-orchestrated smear campaign, and gross abuse of state apparatus and resources.
Alleged Abuse of Office
As I stated before, I have always utilized my office to faithfully assist His Excellency President R. G Mugabe in driving the social and economic programmes of his Government to successful fruition. At no point have I ever been motivated by self-interest when discharging my public duties.
Alleged Assassination of the President
The most repugnant allegation made recently has been that I sought to assassinate the President. My loyalty to His Excellency and my country Zimbabwe, is unquestionable. I would never be party to such an action or activity, alone or in a group.
In conclusion my fellow citizens, let it be known that I am loyal to the President and faithful to my Party, and its leader, devoted to its aims, obedient to its cause and resolute in my service to Zimbabwe. God bless you all.
DOCTOR JOICE TEURAI ROPA MUJURU