FORMER Vice-President Joice Mujuru has said her late husband and former army commander, General Solomon Mujuru, was “turning in his grave” in reaction to the recent desecration of his venerated name by President Robert Mugabe, whom the general handpicked to lead Zanu PF at the height of the liberation struggle.
The ex-VP, who now leads the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF), made the remarks yesterday while responding to Zanu PF accusations that the Mujuru family had long before the late army general’s mysterious death in 2011 plotted Mugabe’s political downfall.
“Mujuru must be turning in his grave now because the same people he helped come to power have turned against him. Mugabe would still be a teacher at some obscure college or school in Ghana had it not been for Mujuru,” the ZimPF leader said through her spokesperson, Gift Nyandoro.
“He persuaded comrades who were fighting the liberation war to accept Mugabe against their better judgment and this is the gratitude he gets.
“Zanu PF is rattled by Mrs Mujuru’s practicality, they have revealed serious desperation and there is no doubt that Mugabe and his party have been shaken to the core.”
Mujuru was one of leading liberation war commanders, who helped Mugabe rise to power following the Mgagao Declaration at the height of the armed struggle.
Nyandoro said the former VP was shocked that Mugabe waxed lyrical in his eulogy at Mujuru’s burial following his death in an inexplicable inferno on August 15, 2011 at his farm in Beatrice, only to turn around and desecrate “his venerated name in death”.
“Mugabe and the Zanu PF politburo, in their wisdom, declared General Mujuru a national hero following his unfortunate death, but have over the years denied the same status to people like Ndabaningi Sithole. We do not know what to make of that now, but what is clear is that there are concerted efforts to soil General Mujuru’s standing even in death,” he said.
The ZimPF leader, Nyandoro said, would not retaliate.
“Mujuru will not seek revenge, but frowns at claims that she was involved in underhand meetings with (MDC-T leader) Morgan Tsvangirai during the Government of National Unity (GNU) and this only goes to show that Zanu PF was never a genuine partner,” he said.
“Mugabe had more meetings with Tsvangirai every Monday and they are on record as having had pancakes together. She was accommodating of even those who were in the opposition and progressive.
“The latest revelations only go a long way in giving credence to her insistence that she was axed from Zanu PF for her progressive arguments.”
Meanwhile, war veterans’ spokesperson Douglas Mahiya denied reports they had joined opposition parties, but attacked Zanu PF’s G40 faction for its unrelenting vilification of former freedom fighters.
“We are shocked at the accusations, they are a continuation of the vilification of freedom fighters that we have seen G40 (a faction of Zanu PF in the ongoing succession struggle) expending energy on,” he said.
“It is disconcerting that Zanu PF expects war veterans to show a different psyche to the one that is being exhibited by the rest of the country.
“If the party had done something for war veterans, it would have been better; instead they have continued to vilify us. We do not know any military general who goes to war, wins and then turns against the very troops that won him the war.”
Relations between Zanu PF and the former freedom fighters have hit an all-time low following the release of a damning communiqué last month that called on Mugabe to stand down as the country’s leader.