Mujuru breaks silence on 'ridiculous' allegations

Joice Mujuru issued a statement refuting claims she plotted to assassinate Robert Mugabe.

FILE: A file photo taken in 2006 shows Zimbabwe's vice President Joice Mujuru answering questions during an interview in her office at President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party headquarters in Harare. Picture: AFP.

HARARE - After weeks of silence and with possibly only days left in her post as Zimbabwe's vice president, Joice Mujuru, has now addressed what she calls "ridiculous" allegations made against her.

Mujuru says President Robert Mugabe's party has been infiltrated by people bent on destroying it from within.

Mugabe has ruled the southern African country since independence from Britain in 1980 and accuses the West, especially London and Washington, of funding the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to remove him from power.

Analysts say she was too quiet while the accusations were flying but now she's decided to speak.

The vice president issued a statement refuting claims she plotted to assassinate Mugabe.

Instead Mujuru said Mugabe's party had been infiltrated by what she called "persons with nefarious intent".

This appears to be a dig at Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa's faction of the Zanu-PF, which has supported Grace Mugabe's attacks on the president's deputy.

Mujuru called herself a village girl which is just how the first lady frequently describes herself.

Zanu-PF started its five-yearly congress on Tuesday and Mugabe is under pressure from Zanu-PF young people and women to drop Mujuru.

Mujuru did not attend the first day of the congress.