By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
12 February 2014
Vice-President Joice Mujuru, facing a barrage of criticism for her comments on corruption, has backtracked claiming she was misquoted about wanting to gag the media for exposing the rot in parastatals.
Mujuru’s remarks have badly tainted her image and were uttered during an address to members of the ZANU PF Women’s League in Mashonaland West.
She warned the party to be wary of individuals who have infiltrated it with the aim of destabilizing it from within; accusing the media of being part of the plan. She said they should stop exposing the scandals.
The comments have sparked furious reaction from many Zimbabweans, both inside and outside the country and so she has backtracked and denied that she is against media revelations on corrupt activities. Then she blamed the media for allegedly misquoting her.
Analysts said while she may want to distance herself from the storm she created, they say it’s apparent the comments were directed towards individuals from the other faction led by party stalwart Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It is her insinuation that corruption should not be exposed in the media that has touched a raw nerve. Businessman and opposition politician Charlton Hwende said it is understandable why Mujuru is not comfortable reading about corruption in the media, because she belongs to a party that is corrupt to the bone.
‘If you look at Mujuru, the late husband was probably one of the most corrupt people to live in Zimbabwe and the whole ZANU PF machinery is oiled by corruption. From 1980 until now, you will see that ZANU PF has been sustained by corruption, so we are not surprised that Mujuru is defending the rot.
‘Even if you look at Mugabe, he’s now fighting for a $5 million mansion in Singapore, where did he get that money? asked Hwende.
The MDC-T national executive member said the furore caused by Mujuru was a result of factionalism pitting her against Mnangagwa. He said Mujuru was not wrong in pointing a finger of accusation at her rivals.
‘The exposés can be directly linked to Mnangagwa’s camp that is now hitting back after their provincial losses in the party elections to the Mujuru’s faction,’ Hwende said.