End of the road for VP

President Robert Mugabe

A LIFE of bliss, State assigned drivers, security details, guarded homes, several servants, countless overseas travels and many other benefits, yesterday came to an abrupt end for Vice-President Joice Mujuru and eight other ministers.


They all began an uncertain future as ordinary Zimbabweans and Zanu PF card-carrying members after months of being accused of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe expelled Mujuru and ministers Munacho Mutezo (Energy), Webster Shamu (Technology), Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (Provincial Affairs minister for Mashonaland East), Francis Nhema (Indigenisation), Olivia Muchena (Education), Dzikamai Mavhaire (Energy), Nicholas Goche (Labour) and Didymus Mutasa (Presidential Affairs).

A background check on the expelled Mujuru and other ministers shows that nearly all of them have never known any job outside the government, save for Mavhaire who once spent years in the cold selling oranges in Masvingo after being fired by Mugabe for demanding that he should leave office.

Mujuru, who resisted calls by First Lady Grace to step down, was the youngest minister in 1980 and has been in government since.

Mujuru served in various ministerial positions since independence until 2004 when Mugabe ensured she occupied the lofty vice-presidency post after blocking — through controversial circumstances — Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa from assuming the position.

Mnangagwa was then seen as having already secured the position, only for Mugabe to accuse provincial chairpersons supporting Mnangagwa of plotting a succession coup during a Tsholotsho meeting held ahead of that year’s elective Congress.

Vice-President Joice Mujuru
Vice-President Joice Mujuru

The axe fell on a number of accused party provincial chairpersons, including Information minister Jonathan Moyo.

While Mujuru may remain with some of her trimmings, no doubt they will be drastically cut down as she begins to experience a life she has never had before. Mavhaire yesterday began a second life in the political dustbin.

He had only been in office as Energy minister since 2013 after spending years in the political wilderness following a fallout with Mugabe prompted by his “Mugabe must go” remarks in the late 1990s.

Contacted for comment, Mavhaire said: “I don’t talk to the press about such issues, but thanks for asking.”

Mutasa, who Mugabe once said was the only person he could talk with about the good old days, is another Zanu PF official who has since independence enjoyed life as a minister, holding various portfolios under Mugabe. Always a controversial character, Mutasa once said it would be a good thing if the population was halved.

“We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who supported the liberation struggle,” he once remarked.

In 2007, he was involved in a bizarre hoax involving a witch doctor, who claimed refined diesel was gushing from a rock. Goche served in many ministerial portfolios since independence.

But at a recent meeting, it was clear Goche’s time was up, when Mugabe asked about his involvement in an alleged assassination plot.