With emotions boiling anew over the disputed circumstances surrounding the death of liberation struggle icon General Solomon Mujuru in a mysterious fire at his Beatrice farm in 2011, as well as the post-congress Zanu PF’s continued desecration of his name, his family says they are determined to find and nail his killers.
Speaking in an interview yesterday at his modest Goromonzi plot, an emotional elder brother of the late Gen Mujuru, Joel, revealed that the family had hired 12 private investigators who were apparently “closing in on the killers” after preliminary investigations suggested that the decorated freedom fighter may have been murdered.
Gen Mujuru’s charred remains were found after a mysterious fire at his farm four years ago, with a subsequent inquest that was set up by the State ruling out foul play.
However, the family disputes this — and stung by the worsening desecration of his name by President Robert Mugabe, his controversial wife Grace and other Zanu PF bigwigs — says it is now even more determined to hunt down his killers.
Just last week, Mugabe accused the deceased former army commander, on whose bidding the nonagenarian became the leader of Zanu in the mid 1970s, of having plotted to remove him from power using the likes of Simba Makoni and Ibbo Mandaza before he died.
But a highly-charged Joel, who stammers like his late young brother, and often dropped tears during the interview, said it was “very painful that a defenceless man (Rex) is now being subjected to endless attacks even from the highest office in the land”.
“Why keep on talking about Solomon, why? Solomon akafa (Solomon is dead) and that should have been the end of the story. Asi haatadze kuuya kuzobvunza munhu akamuuraya (He will not fail to confront his killers). Manyangarara arikuitika mavhirovhiro ekuti zvichabuda pachena chete (All the nonsense that is taking place in Zimbabwe shows that some people are being haunted by his death and the truth will come out).
“This issue will not end until we get to the bottom of it. Why talk about Solomon today? Solomon will confront his killers one day even before the second coming of Jesus Christ. He will ask them, ‘why did you kill me?’
“There are 12 people leading the investigations and even if I die today they will carry on. We are going to find who killed Solomon. Look at what the (Itai) Dzamara family is doing, we are all worried over what happened to this boy.
“I am not a member of the MDC but I am concerned about that boy because he cannot just vanish.
“And when you look at the opposition, they are having prayers of their own so why shouldn’t I do the same for my brother,” the evidently aggrieved Joel said.
Dzamara, the journalist-turned-democracy activist has been missing since March this year — and political parties, assisted by churches, have been holding prayers around the country, seeking divine intervention for the safe return of the missing father of two.
Joel said he was heartened by the fact that “even the opposition is also questioning the circumstances surrounding Solomon’s death”, which was making him “even more motivated to get to the bottom of the death”.
He charged that the inquest into the death of his young brother had not “solved the puzzle surrounding his (Solomon’s) death” and had left the family “with more questions than answers”.
“There are a lot of things that should be done during an inquest that were not done with Solomon. Solomon was fast-tracked to the Heroes’ Acre even when his relatives didn’t know what had happened, why?
“And people say we should not ask questions or seek answers. Who told them to remove his charred remains? Anga ari ani kuna Solomon (on whose authority did those people who removed his remains do so?). Yet I am the only one left with the children, besides my sister.
“When we went to the farm (where Solomon died), we saw his corpse being carried away. Who told them to take the body? Ndiani akati chitunha ichi ndiSolomon (who had identified the charred remains then?). How did they know that when they had said Solomon was burnt beyond recognition. Actually, how did Solomon die?” Joel fumed.
“Even if the whole Mujuru family is wiped out, the truth will come out. Zimbabwe haina mwana akachemwa kunge Solomon (No hero has been mourned in Zimbabwe like Solomon was). Munhu akauraya Solomon zvichabuda zvese (Solomon’s killer will be exposed). Four of our investigators are confident that they will get to the bottom of the matter,” he added.
Admitting that his brother was fallible “like many other people”, Joel said he found it difficult to accept the claims that the late Gen Mujuru had plotted against the “same president he helped make”.
“Maybe they want us to ask for forgiveness to the president. I will do that on his behalf so that this (Solomon’s vilification in death) stops. I will do everything to stop this since I am still alive and he is dead. Ukanzwa zita remwana wamai vako richingotaurwa, richingotaurwa (when you hear your brother being bad-mouthed continuously) it is painful,” he said.
Joel said the Mujuru family was angry and “in a state of confusion” as to what Zanu PF was seeking to achieve through its continued vilification of their departed son.
“Handisi kupopotera president (I am not attacking the president), but he said those things at the wrong time. The person is dead and how will they arrest him for his so-called illegal dealings now?” he asked sarcastically.
Joel’s pronouncements come at a time that emotions are boiling over again within Zanu PF regarding the circumstances surrounding Gen Mujuru’s death, as well as the post-congress Zanu PF’s continued desecration of his name.
It has not helped matters that Solomon Mujuru’s name — whose liberation struggle nom de guerre was Rex Nhongo — has almost become a four-letter word within the post-congress Zanu PF, with a recent report that was prepared by the party’s disciplinary committee claiming that he had been plotting with his wife, former Vice President Joice Mujuru, to oust Mugabe from power.
The divisive report has widened fissures within the warring ruling party which has since split into two distinct and bitterly-opposed formations, with many of the former liberation movement’s struggle stalwarts now identifying themselves with the “original” Zanu PF that uses the slogan People First.
“From as far back as the 5th National People’s Congress (which was held in December 2009), the party and government was aware that Joice Mujuru was either leading or complicit in a plot to oust the president.
“She, then with the help of her late husband had plotted to thwart the president’s nomination at the 5th National People’s Congress, mainly through the agency of her cabal’s handpicked or imposed provincial chairmen.
“Even though she (Joice) says she should not be held accountable for the actions of her late husband, her actions after his death in 2011 show that she was much in the plot and continued with the scheme of the husband,” the report says