In February 2014, the nation was shocked to hear the then Vice President of the republic rail against the media for publishing stories which exposed corruption in various parastatals.
In fact, the Vice President, Dr Joice Mujuru, was at that material time the Acting President of Zimbabwe.
She took an opportunity of addressing a Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial women’s conference in Chinhoyi to declare that graft cases should not be discussed in the media.
These were her words, as we translate here: “This issue that we are discussing regarding (the exposure of) corruption in parastatals is one way of bringing about regime change in the country.
“They know what is at stake and the important roles parastatals play. They are saying from ZBC we are going for Zesa and then ZINWA. Those people do not belong to Zanu-PF, but are snakes in the grass bent on destroying the party from within. What we are saying is let the Office of the President handle the matter.
“These cases cannot be solved in the newspapers because the way they treat it in the newspapers point to an agenda to topple Government and the ruling party Zanu-PF,” she said.
For those that may have missed this rant, there is a video and we duly uploaded it on our website and it happened in the context of the exposure of massive corruption at State enterprises that had seen executives award themselves obscene salaries at the expense of service delivery and at a time when workers were going for months without pay.
The rot was later dubbed “Salarygate” and the persons of Cuthbert Dube, who earned a cool $230 000 at PSMAS and Happison Muchechetere, $40 000 at ailing ZBC became the notorious poster boys of Salarygate.
It surprised all and sundry when the Acting President ranted against the exposure of such profligacy at a time people were beginning to be optimistic that a new culture of accountability could start taking shape in how Government enterprises operated.
Fast forward two years later, the same woman who slammed the anti-corruption drive, which naturally died most probably because of her, is back pontificating that she will uproot corruption to ensure the success of the country.
Joice Mujuru lost her position that year, 2014 and has since been in the wilderness until recently when she registered her party, Zimbabwe People First, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and held her inaugural press conference this week.
She, among other declarations, claimed that, “The scourge of corruption will need to be totally uprooted.”
The above incident against the exposure of corruption in the media reveals that she is untainted by political correctness at her new home. She is known as a person who tolerates corrupt activities and there have been several reports questioning the source of her vast wealth that she accrued with her late husband.
That also includes a number of farms that her family owns, which makes it further ironic that she could preach virtues of single farm ownership. She cannot be trusted by many Zimbabweans, and rightly so.
Besides, the path she has taken is to reverse such historic steps towards people’s self-determination through indigenisation, which she says will require “a whole review”.
But she also needs to be reminded that she is not the first, or the last, politician to come aboard and leave without ceremony.
Zanu-PF renegades of the past, from Edgar Tekere to Simba Makoni, have all been down that road before. We have had Morgan Tsvangirai and his out-and-out sellout politics, too.
Mujuru’s copy-and-paste attempt to BUILD a new politics, even borrowing from MDC-T and Mavambo, will fail because of her inherent weaknesses, the major one of which appears to be dishonesty.