Former Vice President Joice Mujuru says she will challenge the paternity of some of the numerous children who are angling around the estate of her late husband, General Solomon Mujuru.
At least 20 children are claiming a stake in the late liberation war icon’s vast estate, believed to be worth millions of dollars.
The family on Friday attended an edict meeting before the Master of the High Court, Eldard Mutasa, in a bid to choose an executor for the estate.
Mutasa revealed that the number of children claiming a stake in the estate could be more than 20, adding that those who felt excluded would have the right to appeal.. . . but former VP wants paternity tests for claimants
However, Mujuru, through her lawyer Addington Chinake, said she would request that some of the children go for paternity tests.
“The paternity of some of the children will be disputed,” Chinake said, adding that this was, however, an issue for another day.
Solomon’s remains were found in 2011 after a mysterious fire broke out at his Ruzambo Farm, in Beatrice — which is about 65 kilometres out of the capital Harare.
A 13-day public inquest held at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts in 2012 failed to unlock the real cause of Mujuru’s death, with 39 witnesses giving varying versions of events — and igniting a myriad conspiracy theories.
Four years down the line, his estate is still to be finalised after it was registered late last year, with several children flocking in to claim a stake in the businesses and properties that Solomon left dotted around the country.
Chinake told the meeting that the late general could have left a testamentary writing, which was possibly in the possession of his lawyer Thakor Kewada.
He said Kewada had confirmed being appointed the executor by the late general.
Mutasa gave Kewada five-working days to bring the documents before him, failure of which a neutral executor was going to be appointed.
Lucian Gotora, Obey Shava and Proud Mutuso represented Mujuru’s various children and demanded the appointment of an independent executor if Kewada failed to bring a document supporting averments that he was the appointed executor.
One of Mujuru’s sons, Tendai, told the Master of the High Court that even though there were 13 recognised children, some of whom had produced their birth certificates, he was convinced there were seven others that he was still to locate.
He said the estate needed to be immediately dealt with considering that some of the children were living in abject poverty. He said ownership of some of the properties had already been changed, adding that he was looking for guidance on the best way forward.
His mother, Faith Juta, who was part of the group of relatives who attended the edict meeting, claimed to be one of Mujuru’s surviving spouses.
She said she was staying at Mujuru’s Tarisa Farm in Ruwa, before it was gutted by fire last September.
Juta said she got married to the late general under Customary Law in 1981, and had subsequently divorced in 1994.
She said they later reconciled in 2008, which resulted in her relocating to the farm. She said Joel Mujuru, who is the late general’s elder brother, as well as his sister and Maidei, one of Mujuru’s children, knew about the marriage.
The family members went on to give a list of some of Mujuru’s properties, including the Ruzambo Farm, River Ranch Mine, a number of houses and shops in Bindura