As we commemorate the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, 263Chat will profile 16 most influential women in Zimbabwe. The focus will be on their achievements and the contribution they have or are making to uplift society and the country at large.
Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru, is a Zimbabwean politician who served as Vice-President of Zimbabwe from 2004 to 2014. Previously she had served as a government minister as well as the Vice-President and second Secretary of ZANU-PF.
Born Runaida Mugari in April 15 1955 in Mount Darwin, Joice Mujuru was married to Solomon Mujuru. She was one of 12 children born to peasant farmer parents. Joice Mujuru only did two years of high school and as a teenager left school to join the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) in 1973. She became a commander at Chimoi camp, Mozambique in 1976. In 1977, the same year she married Solomon Mujuru, she became member of the central committee of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and secretary for women’s affairs. She is credited with downing a helicopter during the liberation struggle. .
At eighteen years old, Mujuru was the only woman who trained in Lusaka. After completing two years of secondary education, she decided to join the Rhodesia Bush War. Joice Mujuru has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Management and Entrepreneurial Studies from Zimbabwe Women’s University In Africa. On the 12th September 2014, Joice graduated with a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Arts Department of Philosophy.
The thesis was titled “A strategic Exploratory Entrepreneurship Study of Sustainable Agricultural Business; Case Studies of Mitchel and Mitchel of Mashonaland East and Dotito Scheme of Mashonaland Province” and was said to be available at the University of Zimbabwe library.
Her PhD thesis focused on Mitchel and Mitchel an agricultural Company based the farming town of Marondera . The company is a commercial venture and it produces horticultural projects which are imported to international markets for sale. She graduated together with former first ladyGrace Mugabe who earned a PhD in Sociology.
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.
Mar 8, 2017 Joice Mujuru was bestowed with an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her positive contribution towards the rights of women. She was presented with the award by Women Appreciating Women (WAW),