STATEMENTS attributed to Joyce Mujuru where she appeared to be condemning journalists and Zanu PF whistle-blowers who are exposing the rot in State owned companies have predictably struck the wrong chord.
Zimbabweans are outraged that someone in Mujuru’s position would have sympathy for the looters who to a large extent are responsible for this sorry economic state of affairs.
Mujuru was quoted in the government owned media on Monday saying exposing corruption in parastatals and related companies by the media was the work of detractors bent on destroying the government and stalling its programmes.
She reportedly made the controversial remarks while addressing a Zanu PF Mashonaland West women’s conference at the weekend.
Mujuru insinuated that those in government who have been aiding the media onslaught against the corrupt executives were working to destroy Zanu PF from within.
While her assertions cannot be dismissed without being tested because Zanu PF is a party riven by factionalism, suggesting that crimes should be suppressed to preserve a party’s unity is the height of irresponsibility.
A number of parastatals that used to provide thousands of jobs such as Air Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Passenger Company and National Railways of Zimbabwe and many others are on their knees largely because of mismanagement.
For years, Zanu PF has appeared reluctant to address these shortcomings at the detriment of the economy.
Therefore, the awakening especially of the public media to this immorality was naturally welcomed by long-suffering Zimbabweans who were now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
As much as Mujuru’s frustrations could be understandable in that the exposure is selective, if she wants to be taken seriously she should not try to get in the way of journalists doing their jobs.
The Vice-President is an experienced politician being among those who have been in Cabinet since independence in 1980 and this should surely reflect in her statements and behaviour.
There is a tendency among politicians to claim that they were misquoted when their ill-considered statements backfire and it would be interesting to hear what Mujuru has to say about her gaffe.
By now she should have issued a statement or addressed the nation about the import and intention of her statements.
Zimbabweans are angry.