Marufu, 55, had been ill for some time and was spending most of the time at one of his farms, after he retired from the country’s brutal Central Intelligence Organisation.
In 2002 ,he grabbed the Bindura farm , having chased away the manager. Using equipment forcibly taken away from the farmer he proceeded to harvest the crops worth $35 million. The farm assets in total were worth an estimated $200 million and drove 200 farm workers into destitution.
A former ZANLA fighter in the liberation war of the 1970’s, Marufu joined the army at independence and spent most of his years as a military intelligence officer based at the Kabrit barracks, next to Harare International airport.
This is where he lived with his young sister Grace when she was studying for her secretarial course in the capital. When she joined the President’s office Reward, now a Major in the army, was invited to join the CIO by the then deputy Director-General Lovemore Mukandi.
He quickly rose within the CIO ranks, culminating in his posting to Canada as a diplomat. But his stay there was cut short when he was recalled by the Foreign Affairs ministry when Canadian authorities charged him with severely assaulting his daughter.
Before his diplomatic posting he controversially claimed huge sums of money from the War Victims Compensation Fund, after claiming 95 percent disability from war injuries.Analysts attribute compensation claims by war veterans as one of the major contributors to the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy.
Marufu was born in Sadza, Chivhu, in 1955 and went to Sadza Primary School and then Makumbi Mission in 1974 for his secondary education. He joined the war in the mid 1970’s.
He is survived by his wife Debra and six children. Reports from Bindura say ZANU PF is considering conferring Marufu with provincial hero status in recognition of ‘his contribution to the liberation struggle.’
His death Wednesday comes only a few weeks after Mugabe lost his sister Sabina, who was declared a hero and buried at the National Heroes’ Acre. Another of Mugabe’ sister Bridgette, is reportedly ill and admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital. Additional Reporting from SW Radio.