via Renewed tension over Solomon Mujuru’s death – DailyNews Live 18 August 2015 by Fungi Kwaramba
HARARE – Emotions are boiling over again regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of liberation struggle icon General Solomon Mujuru in a mysterious fire at his Beatrice farm — just outside Harare — in 2011, as well as the post-congress Zanu PF’s continued desecration of his name.
This comes as the Daily News confirmed yesterday that former Vice President Joice Mujuru and other close family members held a private function in Harare on Heroes Day to remember the revered late liberation struggle icon — amid growing accusations by critics of the ruling party that it is “trying to delete General Mujuru from the annals of history”.
At the same time, there were strong indications yesterday that the Mujuru family is serious about its recent suggestions that they are working with private investigators to get to the bottom of the contested circumstances that led to Gen Mujuru’s death — amid suspicions by his loved ones that the country’s first army commander may have been murdered by his political foes.
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 to oust President Robert 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.
Asked by the Daily News yesterday how she had commemorated her husband’s death last week, Mujuru would only say, in a typically diplomatic and terse response, “We remembered him at home with family.”
But her close allies, who were like, her ruthlessly purged from the post-congress Zanu PF late last year, were more forthcoming in their responses, saying Mugabe and his party were “desperately trying to erase General Mujuru from the history books”.
Former Presidential Affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa, said it was “sickening that people who were on the periphery of the liberation struggle are now being celebrated when true heroes have been forgotten”.
“We have our own views and the post-congress Zanu PF has its own. We don’t know why they have decided to forget VaMujuru, but General Mujuru is our liberator. If it was not for him we would not have won this country. He was at the forefront and not back as most of them were,” Mutasa said.
The former close aide to Mugabe, who is among the leading proponents of the “original” Zanu PF that is presumptively led by Mujuru, added that most of the country’s political leadership during the struggle era were either in exile or in prison while the late Gen Mujuru led the battle against minority rule “in the trenches”.
“There is no doubt that General Mujuru was the face of our struggle. We went to war with the likes of VaMugabe but there were some who were on the front, like Mujuru, the late General Josiah Tongogara and the late Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai.
“Those are the people who should come to our minds when we remember our heroes because those are the true heroes,” Mutasa said.
Another disaffected party stalwart, who requested anonymity as he still serves in a senior leadership position in the post-congress Zanu PF, said he and many others were “very angry that some amongst us continue to desecrate Rex’s name”.
“If there is a big blight on the legacy of the party and the liberation movement in general, it is this terrible tendency of scandalising fallen heroes like Rex. I can’t accept that, particularly as most of these unwarranted insults come from Weevils (Zanu PF Johnny-come-latelies) who know very little about the struggle.
“This is why many comrades now suspect that Rex was murdered, because of this silly and loose talk. Did a candle fire really cause his death? I pray that the president (Mugabe) will one day open his eyes and see all this madness for what it is.
“Can you believe it that our own movement actually reversed (in 2012) the renaming of Enterprise Road in Harare to Solomon Mujuru by the MDC council of all people. That is insane,” the miffed bigwig said.
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, whose opposition party-led council proposed the name change that was rejected by Zanu PF, told the Daily News yesterday that they were now wary of changing street names because of the Mujuru experience.
“We need convergence on whose responsibility (the renaming of streets) it is, and how it is done. The process of doing it must allow for universal acceptance, not rejections which can embarrass the intentions and also those near and dear to those being honoured,” Manyenyeni said.
Notwithstanding the accusations that the post-congress Zanu PF is rewriting history and ignoring some of the leading lights of the liberation struggle, its spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo described this year’s Heroes Day celebrations as “a resounding” success.
He flatly refused to be drawn into commenting on the alleged shortfalls regarding the conferment and celebration of heroes.
“It was excellent I must say. The attendance was massive and that is a demonstration that our people do remember our heroes. It was a sombre expression of a plural sense of unity.
“It is a day we take seriously because we have to use it as a day of reflection and stock taking, a day for reflection and a day to re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of the revolution. If it was not for them there would be no Zimbabwe today,” he said.
Asked to respond to Mutasa’s charges, Khaya Moyo said curtly, “I am not his spokesperson”. And when he was pressed to shed light on why the ruling party had seemingly forgotten General Mujuru, Khaya Moyo said he did not speak for anyone but Zanu PF.
“I am not his (Mujuru’s) spokesperson.”