18 July 2014

Zimbabwe: VP Mujuru Hails President's Influence

VICE President Joice Mujuru yesterday gave a moving narration of how President Mugabe persuaded her to further her studies after independence in 1980. She also chronicled how she had enrolled for university education without the knowledge of her husband, the late national hero Retired General Solomon Mujuru.

VP Mujuru was addressing delegates during the National Youth Conference on youth skills for employment, entrepreneurship and industry growth in Harare.

She narrated how she resisted the Sports, Youth and Employment Creation portfolio because of her bad English.

"You can imagine at 25, I could not speak good English and you know what they said, him, himself the President took me by hand and said you are refusing to be the Minister of Youth," VP Mujuru said.

"If you managed to fight the war for eight years, I know you can do it," she said. "I spent three weeks in my house and decided to remain in the house and give Solomon children. That is all I wanted and thought I could do."

VP Mujuru was the youngest Cabinet Minister in 1980 and fitted secondary school education in her busy schedule after she was appointed Minister.

She said President Mugabe handed her over to two Government officials whom he tasked with ensuring that she went back to school.

VP Mujuru said it was a difficult moment for her as she had last been to school in the early 70s.

"He took me by the hand and gave me to Minister (Dzingai) Mutumbuka and said: "take this girl, I want her to go back to school", VP Mujuru said.

"I went and took Grade Seven books because Form Two (when she left for war) had vanished. We had no time to keep ourselves writing or reading because we were doing other things in terms of running the war. It was viewed as a pleasure to go to school during the war."

VP Mujuru narrated how she had decided to "fix" her husband by furthering her studies.

"You know as a youngster the moment you hear the husband did not turn up (home) you start asking how many girls did he see last night," she said drawing laughter.

"What has happened? I said to myself what if he marries an educated wife he will say 'I divorced you because you are uneducated'. I decided, anyway, I will fix him. That's how I went back to school."

"I did not even tell him a single story about my going back to school," VP Mujuru said.

"He only knew about it when I was graduating with my first degree. He refused to come with me. I think he was in shock. I then went to Chinhoyi University for my Master's degree and today I can tell you that I am a strategist. Yes, I am."

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