AS VICE-President Joice Mujuru’s woes continue to mount amid allegations of corruption and treason, her children — Nyasha del Campo, Kumbirai, Chipo and their children — left the country a fortnight ago in a move seen as a security measure after systematic vicious attacks on her from First Lady Grace Mugabe and her supporters.
Sources close to the Mujuru family said since the sustained assault by Grace and the contrived demonstrations against the vice-president, the family has been living in fear of being attacked and harmed.
In her “meet-the-people” rallies around the country, Grace attacked Mujuru saying she is inept, corrupt, an extortionist who owns 10% equities in many companies and has a diamond mine. She also accused her of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe and of intrigues to kill her.
“Following the attacks on Mujuru, all her children were now staying at the vice-president’s residency for fear of being attacked by Zanu PF supporters who are baying for her blood,” said a close source.
“Nyasha was the first one to desert her matrimonial home to join the vice-president and then the other three followed her,” the source said. The source said Mujuru’s family was living in fear because of Grace’s rabid against them.
“Two weeks ago Nyasha was looking for a travel agency that would book flight tickets for four adults and four children under the age of 12 years to leave Thursday evening.
“She, however, could not find any and opted for the 16:50 hours South African Airways that left on that Friday,” said the source.
“All we are aware of is that she is heading for Cape Town and they may be back after the Zanu PF congress which will determine the fate of their mother.”
While addressing the anti-Mujuru placards waving Zanu PF supporters at the party headquarters three weeks ago, Mugabe all but endorsed the removal of Mujuru when he said “when a marriage breaks down, a divorced wife is given time to pack instead of chasing her on the spur of the moment”.
Mugabe gave a clearest indication yet that he is backing his wife and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction in their bid to oust Mujuru at the crucial December congress.
Armed with placards some of them written: “Who Ran Down Farmers World”, “Dr 10%, Bring Back Profits From Tongaat Hullet”, “Pasi neDemon Refactionalism”, “What A Pretentious Cadre”, “Pasi ne10%”, in reference to allegations being levelled against Mujuru concerning her alleged abuse of office and corruption which only surfaced when the plot to topple her was devised, the protestors demanded Mujuru’s immediate resignation. Mujuru’s family was left exposed by the death of her husband, retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru who died in a mysterious blaze at his farm in Beatrice in 2011. The Mujuru family spokesperson, Joel Mujuru, said this week they were pained by the campaign of demonisation against Joice Mujuru, suggesting General Mujuru was murdered.
The family’s fear is also compounded by the prosecutor-general Johannes Tomana’s utterances that the just-ended inaugural National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) workshop in Bulawayo two weekends ago.
Tomana said his office would not “kill” a potential corruption case against Mujuru by ordering police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to investigate the graft allegations. Under the new Constitution, Tomana has powers to institute and conduct criminal proceedings on behalf of the state and also has the power to direct the Commissioner-General of Police to investigate cases.
Mujuru has also been implicated in a coup and assassination plot against Mugabe.
Nyasha has always been in the forefront of the Mujuru’s business interests and intelligence sources say “her finger trails are all over the Mujuru business empire, hence any prosecution that may take place will not spare her and her husband, Pedro del Campo”.
This week, the smear campaign on the Mujuru family escalated to hysterical levels amid state media reports Nyasha is also involved in another scandal involving a US$105 000 loan dispute.
Nyasha allegedly swindled Thokozani Ncube, a local business woman, of cash as well as playing a role in the sale of a stolen vehicle. In 2009, Nyasha and the Mujuru family were reportedly exposed in gold and diamond deals after a deal went sour. The alleged deal involved shipping about US$35 million worth of gold nuggets per month to Switzerland for several months — gold which apparently belonged to several owners but entrusted to the Mujurus for selling in Europe.
Mujuru was said to be prepared to finance the shipment of the 3,7 tonnes of gold, but when Firststar Europe PLC, a company that was supposed to facilitate the deal’s due diligence report, showed that the gold belonged to “criminals elements”. It then decided not to go into the deal and expose the criminals, and to blacklist the del Campos’ companies and Mujuru.
Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said the move by the family shows that the vicious fights in Zanu PF have gone to a point where it is no longer safe for the children and other Mujuru allies to remain in the country. “The succession battle is so vicious that there is fear in the Mujuru family of physical violence or even elimination,” Masunungure said.
“Any one in her position would do that, to protect her family first and then confront the problems she is currently facing as the succession battle turns nasty.”