Joice Mujuru

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Joice Mujuru
Joice Mujuru at Horasis Global Arab Business Meeting 2012 crop.jpg
Mujuru at the Horasis Global Arab Business Meeting in 2012
First Vice President of Zimbabwe
In office
6 December 2004 8 December 2014
President Robert Mugabe
Preceded by Simon Muzenda
Succeeded by Emmerson Mnangagwa
Personal details
BornRunaida Mugari
(1955-04-15) 15 April 1955 (age 63)
Mount Darwin, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Zimbabwe)
Political party National People's Party (since 2017)
Zimbabwe People First (2016–17)
ZANU–PF (until 2015)
Spouse(s) Solomon Mujuru (1977–2011)
Children 4
Alma mater Women's University in Africa
Military service
Nickname(s) Teurai Ropa
Allegiance Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army
Years of service 1972–80
Rank Commissar
Commands Second-in-Command of Zhunta Camp
Battles/wars Rhodesian Bush War

Joice "Teurai-Ropa" Mujuru (born Runaida Mugari; 15 April 1955) is a Zimbabwean politician who served as Vice-President of Zimbabwe from 2004 to 2014. Previously she had served as a government minister. She also served as Vice-President of ZANU-PF. She was married to Solomon Mujuru until his death in 2011 and was long considered a potential successor to President Robert Mugabe, but in 2014 she was denounced for allegedly plotting against Mugabe. As a result of the accusations against her, Mujuru lost both her post as Vice-President and her position in the party leadership. She was expelled from the party a few months later, after which she formed the new Zimbabwe People First party.

Vice-President of Zimbabwe

The Vice-President of Zimbabwe is the second highest political position obtainable in Zimbabwe. Currently there is a provision for two Vice-Presidents, who are appointed by the President of Zimbabwe. The Vice-Presidents are designated as "First" and "Second" in the Constitution of Zimbabwe; the designation reflects their position in the presidential order of succession.

Solomon Mujuru Zimbabwean general and politician

Solomon Mujuru, also known by his nom-de-guerre, Rex Nhongo, was a Zimbabwean military officer and politician who led Robert Mugabe's guerrilla forces during the Rhodesian Bush War. He was from the Zezuru clan. In post-independence Zimbabwe, he went on to become army chief before leaving government service in 1995. After leaving his post in the Zimbabwe National Army, he got into politics becoming Member of Parliament for Chikomba on a Zanu PF ticket. He was generally regarded as one of the most feared men in Zimbabwe. His wife, Joice Mujuru, became Vice-President of Zimbabwe in 2004.

Robert Mugabe former President of Zimbabwe

Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017. He chaired the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) group from 1975 to 1980 and led its successor political party, the ZANU – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), from 1980 to 2017. Ideologically an African nationalist, during the 1970s and 1980s he identified as a Marxist–Leninist, although after the 1990s self-identified only as a socialist. His policies have been described as Mugabeism.


Early life

Mujuru was born in Zimbabwe's Northeastern district of Mt. Darwin, a Shona from the Korekore language group . As a Shona (a conglomeration of various tribes with a common sounding Bantu language) she is of the same language group as Vice-President Joseph Msika and President Robert Mugabe as well as political rivals Morgan Tsvangirai and Emmerson Mnangagwa. However, they come from different dialect groups with Mugabe being Zezuru and Mnangagwa being Karanga. Tsvangirai is a Manyika from Buhera District in Manicaland.

Mount Darwin, Zimbabwe Place in Zimbabwe

Mount Darwin is a town in Mashonaland Central province in Zimbabwe.

The Shona are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and neighboring countries. The people are divided into five major clans and adjacent to other groups of very similar culture and languages. This name came into effect in the 19th century due to their skill of disappearing and hiding in caves when attacked. Hence Mzilikazi the great king called them amaShona meaning "those who just disappear." When the white settlers came to Mashonaland, they banned the Shona people from staying near caves and kopjes because of their hiding habits. This explanation is because there is no word called "Shona" in the Shona language vocabulary. There are various interpretations whom to subsume to the Shona proper and whom only to the Shona family.

Joseph Msika Zimbabwean politician

Joseph Wilfred Msika was a Zimbabwean politician who served as Second Vice President of Zimbabwe from 1999 to 2009.

At eighteen years old, Mujuru was the only woman who trained in Lusaka. [1] After completing two years of secondary education, she decided to join the Rhodesian Bush War. She is said to have downed a helicopter with a machine gun on 17 February 1974 after refusing to flee.The helicopter downing incident has been vehemently denied by War Veterans chairman, the acid tongued Christopher Mutsvangwa after her (Mujuru) expulsion from the party, other ballistic experts have also questioned the possibility of shooting down a helicopter with such a light weapon as narrated on her story. [2] By 1975, she was the political instructor of two successful military bases. At 21, Mujuru was camp commander at Chimoio military and refugee camp in Mozambique. [1]

Lusaka City in Lusaka Province, Zambian Kwacha

Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. One of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa, Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,279 metres (4,196 ft). As of 2010, the city's population was about 1.7 million, while the urban population is 2.4 million. Lusaka is the centre of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country's four main highways heading north, south, east and west. English is the official language of the city, and Nyanja and Bemba are also common.

Rhodesian Bush War civil conflict in Southern Africa from 1964 to 1979

The Rhodesian Bush War—also called the Second Chimurenga and the Zimbabwe War of Liberation—was a civil conflict from July 1964 to December 1979 in the unrecognised country of Rhodesia . The conflict pitted three forces against one another: the Rhodesian government, led by Ian Smith ; the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, the military wing of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union; and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army of Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union.

Christopher Hatikure Mutsvangwa is a Zimbabwean politician, diplomat and businessman. A veteran of the Rhodesian Bush War, Mutsvangwa served the government of independent Zimbabwe and the ZANU-PF party in a number of roles, including as Director-General of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Ambassador to China, head of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, and Veterans' Welfare Minister.

She took the nom-de-guerre Teurai Ropa (spill blood), [3] and then rose to become one of the first women commanders in Mugabe's ZANLA forces. In 1977, she married Solomon Mujuru, known then as Rex Nhongo, deputy commander-in-chief of ZANLA. That same year, she became the youngest member of the Central Committee, a member of the National Executive. [1] Her political activity made her a target for the Rhodesian security forces, which tried to capture her but were unsuccessful. [1] On 23rd November 1977 the ZANLA camp at Chimoio came under attack from Rhodesian forces as part of Operation Dingo. Comrade Joice Mujuru heroically avoided capture by carefully and skillully concealing herself in a well-used communal pit latrine [4] . In 1978, when her camp came under attack, Muruji—nine months pregnant at the time—was still an active combatant. She gave birth only days later. [1]

Upon return from the war, little was known of the origins of her name and her real name. Her mother, in an interview for The Sunday Mail newspaper at her rural Mount Darwin home, spoke exclusively to journalist and media anthropologist Robert Mukondiwa, to whom she revealed that Joice was a name she had also adopted during her time away at the war. Her actual name, he was told, was Runaida, which had been her late paternal aunt's name.

The Mujurus now live on a 3,500-acre (14 km2) requisitioned farm, Alamein Farm, 45 miles (72 km) south of Harare, which has been found by the Supreme Court in Zimbabwe to have been illegally seized from the farm owner. [5]

Alamein Farm, also known as Ruzambu Farm, is a 5,000 hectare farm at Beatrice, in the Mashonaland East area of Zimbabwe, 72 km south of the capital Harare. It was a highly productive commercial farming operation, employing around one thousand people and producing large quantities of tobacco, maize and Rhodes grass, as well as cattle and farmed game. The farm gained notoriety in 2002, when General Solomon Mujuru and his wife, Zimbabwean Vice President Joice Mujuru, evicted the farm owner and all farm inhabitants under the auspices of the Land Reform Programme, and became the first of President Robert Mugabe's inner circle to be found guilty of unlawful land seizures. Under General Mujuru, the farm continued to produce tobacco, maize and game. Farm workers also produced their own tobacco on land allocated to them.

Political career

At independence in 1980, Mujuru became the youngest cabinet minister in the cabinet, taking the portfolio of sports, youth and recreation. She fitted secondary school in between her busy schedule after she was appointed minister.

As Minister of Telecommunications, she tried to stop Strive Masiyiwa from establishing his independent cellphone network Econet. [6] Masiyiwa had been given an ultimatum by the cabinet to sell his imported equipment to his rivals. On 24 March 1997, Mujuru decided to issue Zimbabwe's second cellular telephone licence to the previously unknown Zairois consortium Telecel, [7] cutting out Masiyiwa. The Zairois consortium included her husband Solomon and President Robert Mugabe's nephew Leo. After many legal fights, Masiyiwa won his licence in December 1997.

Strive Masiyiwa Zimbabwean businessman

Strive Masiyiwa is a London-based Zimbabwean businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the founder and executive chairman of diversified international Telecommunications, Media and Technology group Econet Wireless.


The ZANU-PF Women's League resolved at its annual conference held in September 2004 to put forward a female candidate for the party's vice-presidency, a position left vacant following the death of Simon Muzenda.

Mugabe bowed to pressure from a ZANU-PF faction led by Mujuru's husband, General Solomon Mujuru, to give a woman the second vice-presidency post—effectively sidelining Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, widely seen as his favoured heir. This ZANU-PF reshuffle was dubbed "the night of the long knives" by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. [8]

Mujuru was sworn in as Vice-President of Zimbabwe on 6 December 2004. [9]

Mujuru was nominated as ZANU-PF's candidate for the House of Assembly seat from Mt. Darwin West in the March 2008 parliamentary election. [10] According to official results she won the seat by an overwhelming margin, receiving 13,236 votes against 1,792 for Gora Madzudzo, the candidate of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai. This ran contrary to earlier claims from the MDC that Mujuru had lost the seat. [11] After the election, she was again sworn in as Vice-President by Mugabe on 13 October 2008, together with Msika. [12]

She is the subject of personal sanctions imposed by the United States. [13]

She currently lives on Alamein Farm, a productive and high-value operation illegally requisitioned as part of the land reform programme from Guy Watson-Smith in 2001, [14] as found by the Zimbabwe High Court and international courts. In 2001 the Mujuru family became the subject of the first legal action against any member of Mr Mugabe's inner circle implicated in the illegal seizure of land and assets.

The seizure of Alamein Farm was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe. [15] [16]

Mujuru was considered a potential successor to President Mugabe, competing against Emmerson Mnangagwa. She rallied support among the politburo, central committee and the presidium, and the provincial party chairs. She also garnered support from the general Zimbabwean population, indicated by the election of her loyalists to the youth league. However, her succession was expected to be challenged at the December 2014 congress, where the members of all politburo and central committee cadres were expected to seek re-election. [17]

Expulsion and new political party

In late 2014, Mujuru was accused of plotting against Mugabe and became an outcast within ZANU-PF. She lost her positions in the party leadership at the December 2014 congress, and shortly afterward, on 8 December 2014, Mugabe dismissed her from her post as Vice-President, along with ministers who were identified with her faction. In comments published on 9 December, the same day the dismissals were announced, Mujuru said that the claims that she had plotted against Mugabe were "ridiculous". [18]

On 10 December 2014, Mugabe appointed Mujuru's long-time rival in the succession battle, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to replace her as Vice-President. [19]

Mujuru was expelled from ZANU-PF on 3 April 2015 [20] [21] and subsequently moved on to form the Zimbabwe People First party, in opposition to ZANU-PF. [22] In 2017 after expelling seven senior members of the Zimbabwe People First party, she changed its name to National People's Party when the expelled members challenged ownership of the Zimbabwe People First name. [23] Joice Mujuru has recently signed an alliance with 20 smaller parties. This is believed to be a counter to Tsvangirai's MDC alliance that is to give her a large bargaining power on the coalition table. THE Tendai Biti-led People's Democratic Party (PDP), Dumiso Dabengwa's Zapu and the National People's Party (NPP) led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru unveiled a coalition pact to challenge Zanu PF in Matabeleland in the 2018 elections.The Zapu, NPP and PDP leadership said they would not contest each other for any parliamentary seats in Matabeleland, before noting that "doors were still open" for a broader coalition with other opposition parties, raising fears that the MDC Alliance, which was announced recently, could have hit turbulence. [24]

She is part of the 23 candicates running for the Presidency [25]

Zimbabwe "illegal gold sale bid"

Joice Mujuru was implicated in a 2009 attempted sale of up to 3.5 tonnes of gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to a European company, in contravention of European Union sanctions on the part of that company. [26]

Positions Held

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  13. US Personal Sanctions ZWNews
  14. "Farm owner given minutes to leave his Farm" Archived 5 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine ., London Evening Standard, 10 February 2003.
  15. " Evicted farmer sues for return of £2m assets", The Telegraph, 24 December 2001.
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  20. "Zimbabwe ruling party expels Mugabe rival Joyce Mujuru". BBC. 3 April 2015.
  21. AFP. "Mujuru expelled from Zanu PF".
  22. "Robert Mugabe's new opponent: his 'daughter' Joice Mujuru", The Telegraph.
  23. "Mujuru change her faction's party name to National People's Party", The Herald.
  24. Nqbani Ndlovu and Sharon Sibindi, "Mujuru, Biti, Dabengwa form own coalition", Newsday, 23 September 2017.
  25. | Mujuru promises to leave no stone unturned in finding missing Mugabe critic | News24
  26. "Zimbabwe 'illegal gold sale bid'". BBC. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2009.