Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
VICE President Joice Mujuru and her hangers-on misled the country when they claimed that she downed a helicopter at the height of the liberation struggle as she was nowhere near Murehwa when the incident happened.
War veteran and a member of the National Traditional Inheritance Kingdom, Cde Linda Mangwende, whose Chimurenga name was Sarudzai Nehanda, said VP Mujuru had been using her picture that was taken in 1978 to claim it was her after shooting down a helicopter.
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War veteran and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa has already dismissed the VP’s claims saying it was propaganda being peddled by political commissar Cde Webster Shamu to prop up VP Mujuru’s bid to depose President Mugabe.
“VP Mujuru has been using my picture claiming it is her after shooting down a helicopter, but the truth of the matter is that that is my picture that was taken in 1978 when I was coming from Takawira Sector entering Tangwena Sector in Gaza province,” said Cde Mangwende in an interview with The Herald yesterday.
“I had left Cdes Kambanje (Tenzi Nehoreka) going to the sector where Cdes Aginyu Kambeu (the late General Amoth Chimombe), Freddy Matanga, Brigadier General Munemo, Grenjar Benhura, Tonderai Zimondi, Charles Munyoro and Tokwe were.
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“On the women side, it was myself, Lieutenant Colonel Mukurazhizha, Cde Muchaneta Plaxedes, the late Colonel Mlambo and Mabel Chinomona. We are the ones who used to carry materials.
“The people responsible for shooting down the helicopter are Cdes Dick Joboringo, Kambanje pa D-Level, Brian, Long Chase, Dangarembizi, Masweets, Gabarinocheka, Norest, Shungu and the late Bazvoka Chidemo.
“These are the people who brought down the helicopter not these lies about Joice Mujuru because at the time she was at Osibisa Nehanda.”
Cde Mangwende said she wanted VP Mujuru to pay her back all the money she gained for using her picture.
Cde Mangwende said the embattled VP must not claim to have downed the aircraft when she had not yet been trained.
Chief Nehoreka concurred with Cde Mangwende, saying VP Mujuru was nowhere near Murehwa when the helicopter was shot down.
“We don’t understand why she wants to lie because she was not there when we brought down that helicopter.
“The picture that she is claiming to be her is of Cde Mangwende when she had just left us. Mujuru was not part of the team that downed the helicopter,” he said.