UNDER-FIRE Vice-President Joice Mujuru was yesterday booed by Zanu PF supporters after she turned up at Stodart Hall for the body viewing of national hero ambassador Kotsho Dube.
This was her first public appearance after President Robert Mugabe publicly accused her of closing ranks with the MDC in an alleged bid to unconstitutionally eject him from power.
The VP, whose political star has been on the wane since the run-up to the party’s congress, had skipped a series of Zanu PF meetings, courting Mugabe’s wrath.
There was tension at Stodart Hall when Mujuru arrived, although ministers present stood to greet her as per tradition.
Mujuru, however, ignored most of them and went straight to the family of the deceased.
She exchanged greetings with the service chiefs upon her arrival. The VP then drove off in her official vehicle to a chorus of boos and catcalls by Zanu PF supporters, who had gathered at the venue.
She, however, did not attend the burial ceremony at the National Heroes’ Acre.
During the congress, Mugabe attacked her for allegedly plotting to oust him by all means, including killing and bewitching him.
Mujuru did not set foot at the venue of the congress.
Speculation had been rife that Mugabe would demote her and give her a lesser post if she had apologised.
Zanu PF sources said some of Mujuru’s alleged accomplices had tried to apologise and make peace with Mugabe, but this was in vain.
Outgoing Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and Munacho Mutezo reportedly tried to plead with Mugabe to forgive them.
Nhema is also said to have sought forgiveness from Mugabe following reports of his links to plot the ouster of the 90-year-old leader.
Meanwhile, Mugabe told mourners at Dube’s funeral that he had worked with the late national hero until he died.
“As we mourn the passing on of this courageous fighter for our freedom, let us draw life-long lessons from his career,” he said.
“He served with loyalty, always standing by his people and for his people.
“He was not a self-seeker, but searched for common good.
“Not once did we get an adverse report suggesting any deviation from the path of principle or integrity.”
Mugabe also took the opportunity to remind white people that Zimbabwe was well able to prosper without them.
Mugabe said Dube joined Zapu and became its representative at the United Nations.
“He also covered South America, with his mandate broadening to cover the United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries and the whole of Western Europe,” he said.
“It took a lot for the likes of Kotsho Dube to subordinate their elitist education and careers to the demands of the struggle.
“Some would simply reject any such invitations, hiding their educated heads into the sand of their highly rewarding professions.
“Others would turn very hostile to the cause of nationalism, castigating those involved as ignoramuses, as men of brawn.
“They would end up collaborating with the white establishment against their own people.”
Dube was appointed ambassador and served from France, covering Spain, Portugal, the Vatican and Unesco.
Between 1997 and 2000, Dube was a member of the board of directors for the Zimbabwe Investment Centre as well as vice-chairperson of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation board.
From 2002 to 2004, he was appointed ambassador to Nigeria.