By Sij Ncube
Harare, December 07, 2016 – ZIMBABWE People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru has sensationally claimed President Robert Mugabe knows her husband’s killers, intimating the late general’s overtures cajoling the Zanu PF leader to quit could have irked the veteran nationalist.
Mujuru’s husband retired general Solomon Mujuru died in a mysterious fire in August 2011 at their farm in Beatrice.
While investigations have gone cold, in a no-holds barred interview with a South African private television station on Wednesday, the former vice president blamed Mugabe for Solomon’s death.
“Mugabe can say he is not aware of what happened to my husband but he mentioned when he was in Bindura that he (Mujuru) is the one who campaigned (that Mugabe retires from politics) and came to him (Mugabe) to say he should leave (his position as Zanu PF).”
Mujuru recalled how Mugabe agreed to have a succession committee set up which had the late second vice president John Nkomo, defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi and the late general Mujuru.
Former cabinet minister Dumiso Dabengwa was part of the succession committee which the former vice president said was specifically selected to help Mugabe work on a succession plan.
“Why did he ask them to do that (be members of a succession committee) then accuses (Solomon) Mujuru of telling him to retire. That pronouncement in Bindura shows there was a foul play. Why did he (Mugabe) mention that (that Solomon Mujuru was behind moves to force Mugabe to retire) if he does not know what caused my husband’s death)?” she asked.
The ZimPF leader, however, said she had no known suspects or a single person who carried the hit on her husband but hinted it was a political assassination or killing.
“I have no person (suspect) but I believe it was political. After his death what happened to me?” she asked in reference to her hounding out of Zanu PF culminating in her dismissal in December 2014 both from the government and the party.
“He (Mugabe) set his team to help him oust me. It is coming out in the open that he leads the G40,” said Mujuru in reference to one of the factions in Zanu PF linked to cabinet ministers Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao.
The G40 is said to be one of the two main factions in Zanu PF jostling to succeed Mugabe when he finally decides to exit politics.
The other faction goes by the moniker Lacoste and is said to be fronted by vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In what analysts view as designed to deflect her complicity in Mugabe’s rule while in Zanu PF, Mujuru portrayed herself as a victim of circumstances, claiming that as vice president she did not have executive powers.
She shunted the blame on the political, economic and social crises such as hyper-inflation, voting rigging, Gukurahundi and other malaises that visited Zimbabwe solely on Mugabe.
Although categorically stating she never witnessed ballots being stuffed, Mujuru said Mugabe and Zanu PF rigged elections by roping in soldiers and traditional leaders to vote for him.
”I am not running away from that (collusion with Mugabe). I was in there by association or cohesion,” she said, adding she had on several occasions confronted Mugabe in cabinet over some of his scotched earth policies.
Mujuru claimed she particularly voiced against Zanu PF master-minded violence against MDC-T supporters in 2008 in her constituency despite Mugabe overwhelming getting the highest votes in the areas.
“I had my own programmes which were destroyed by the government and Zanu PF (for the people). The corridors were whispering about Mai Mujuru being liberal; why is she not being harsh with the opposition.
“The violence of 2008 should have shown the world I had voiced against. It happened in my province next to my home. I called a meeting. I denounced it. I asked where and who gave the order to kill people. It was Zanu PF killing MDC supporters,” Mujuru said.
Regarding Gukurahundiin the early 1980s, she claimed she was too young to comprehend what was happening but rubbished Mugabe’s claims that it was a “moment of madness”.
“I have seen those people (victims of Gukurahundi) in Zimbabwe and South Africa. I am coming from a squatter a camp (in South Africa). You can’t say it’s a moment of madness. Something has to be done, we have a programme with chiefs; it’s a secret of the party we cannot discuss it (on air). Some people say take it to ICC but we have our own culture to cool the hearts of the affected people.”