“I learnt with a deep sense of shock and sorrow of the death of General Solomon Mujuru Tapfumaneyi in a fire mishap at his Beatrice Farm early this morning,” Mugabe said Tuesday before he left for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Luanda, Angola to be held on Wednesday.
“This horrific tragedy, the full details of which are still coming, has robbed the nation of a veteran commander of our war of national liberation. As we grieve his tragic departure, we recall and celebrate the exceptional leadership he showed in the run-up to our independence, most markedly in 1979 as we drifted into the uncertainties of ceasefire and subsequent tense general elections of 1980.
“Above all, we recall with the admiration how he successfully steer the delicate integration exercise which brought together the three warring armies of the Patriotic Front on the one hand, and the remnant Rhodesian Army on the other, moulding both into one solid and disciplined National Defence Force which he commanded until his retirement in 1992.Today Zimbabwe boasts a professional Defence Force traceable to his pioneering command,” he said.
Tsvangirai who was already in Luanda for the crucial SADC summit in a statement said;”It is with deep sorrow and grief that I learnt of the death of Retired General Solomon Tapfumanei Mujuru, one of the undisputed national heroes of this country. Rtd General Mujuru, the founding commander of our national army after independence, will be greatly remembered for his sterling role in the liberation struggle and his outstanding and distinguished service in our military.”
Meanwhile, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) on Tuesday called for an independent and thorough investigation in the suspicious death of Mujuru.
His sudden death has been met with shock and suspicion of foul play.
In a statement released to the media, NCA described the late Mujuru as a true servant of the people, who served with diligence as a commander of the liberation forces during the liberation struggle and was very loyal to the revolutionary cause of our people.
“The demise of General Mujuru is a great loss to the entire nation. During his time as the leader of the revolutionary forces he never failed to confront’ challenges affecting the suppressed black populace,” the NCA said.