Solomon haunted in grave

HARARE - As the Zanu PF politburo meets today, President Robert Mugabe faces the unenviable task of being forced to choose between his demanding wife Grace and his historically close relationship with the late liberation war hero Solomon Mujuru and his embattled widow, Joice.

As well as being Zimbabwe’s first black military commander, Rex Nhongo, as Solomon Mujuru was popularly known during the liberation war, played a central role in Mugabe’s difficult rise to the leadership of Zanu PF in the mid 1970s.

Solomon’s charred remains were found after a mysterious fire at his Beatrice farm, just outside Harare, in August 2011, while his widow, Joice — who Grace wants sacked — has been Mugabe’s party and government deputy since 2004.

But toppling the popular VP — a decorated liberation war heroine in her own right — as Mugabe’s wife has been demanding publicly over the past few weeks, may prove to be a Herculean task given the extent of Mujuru’s support base both inside and outside Zanu PF, as well as the dynamics of the party’s seemingly intractable factional and succession wars.

Analysts say were Mugabe to grant his hot-tempered wife her wishes, he may have to resort to underhand manipulation of the Zanu PF constitution to have any chance of  dethroning “Teurai Ropa Nhongo”, Joice’s war nom de guerre — who has until now been most pundits’ and party supporters’ leading lieutenant to succeed Mugabe.

Speaking at a luncheon for legislators on Tuesday, an angry Mugabe was at pains to straddle a middle of the road path as he rallied his forces to close ranks and to maintain the status quo in the party’s presidium — a stance that appeared to fly in the face of the hostile drive by his wife to oust Mujuru and her own close lieutenants.

Zanu PF veterans all agree that her husband Solomon was the kingmaker who worked very hard to persuade freedom fighters in Mozambique at the height of the liberation struggle to accept Mugabe, a civilian, as the leader of the Zanla rebel forces after his release from a 10-year detention in the mid 1970s.

At independence in 1980, and following the much-debated death of Josiah Magama Tongogara in a mysterious accident on the eve of independence, Mujuru took over the command of the army as Lieutenant-General, before retiring and going into business 10 years later, and ensuring a few years later that his wife took the reins as both Zanu PF and State vice president.

Despite his chequered business life, Rex’s burial at Heroes Acre, following his inexplicable death in 2011, attracted the single biggest crowd ever witnessed at the national shrine since independence in 1980 — which was a stark reminder even in death of his enduring popularity and peerless war credentials.

However, analysts say his death has left his wife politically-vulnerable in the shark-infested Zanu PF waters where principle, service and history often count for very little.

“Some war is going on in my party, people want positions, they want even to push senior people out,” Mugabe himself said on Tuesday.

Key figures in a rival faction allegedly led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, and lately fronted by Grace, have in recent weeks cast aspersions on Solomon’s 59-year-old widow, trashing not just her war contribution, but also maliciously painting her as corrupt and inept, among other mendacious accusations.

“Mrs Mujuru must resign now. She wants to use money to topple Mugabe,” Grace said while addres addressing war collaborators and youths at her Mazowe business hub a week ago.

A close Mujuru family ally, who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing victimisation, told the Daily News yesterday: “I am upset and I would dearly like to protect our mother and father’s reputations from the many lies and fabrications that are being peddled by their enemies.

“It also seems that when somebody dies, people can say whatever they like. Make no mistake, the attack is aimed at our father’s (Rex’s) legacy and business interests, although it’s coming across as an attack on Amai VaChido (Joice). To attack a man like that who contributed so much but is now dead and cannot defend himself and his legacy is despicable.”

A politburo member who also declined to be identified given Zanu PF’s ugly factionalism added: “I don’t know why they (Mujuru’s opponents) would want to make such sensational claims when they are just not true.

“The suggestion that our mother is corrupt and creaming off diamonds is particularly upsetting and utterly dishonest because that mining venture was  closed a long time ago. We may well have to take action over this”.

Mujuru herself has chosen to keep her counsel in the face of the scurrilous allegations by Mugabe’s wife and others targeted at her, insisting that she remains loyal to Mugabe.

Another source branded the current assault on her as a “cynical, power-grabbing exercise” adding, “This is nothing more than crass propaganda, aired ad nausuem by the State media. Sadly, a few Zimbabweans may actually end up thinking that this false narrative is the truth. That is plain wrong”.

Wesley Mwatwara, a War and Strategic Studies lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, said yesterday: “This is a power wrangle. All players are using any ammunition in their quiver ...What we are (also) having are business clashes, personality clashes, the VP and first family”.

He added that as the leader of the Women’s League, if Grace is enthroned at the December congress, she was likely to be given a Cabinet post, possibly that of minister of Women’s Affairs in an impending Cabinet reshuffle. If the VP was not removed, the situation in Cabinet would be untenable.

“Those women can’t work together, one of them will have to fall by the way side,” Mwatwara said. “I can’t say who will succeed. But everything is stacked against the VP at the moment.”

Comments (22)

No matter how much you try daily news, we the public are engulfed with the corruption of this dull VP from dotito and her scheming to be a sell out, she is the one who went publicly and said the media should respect her and stop the false stories that her husband was killed, why did she do that, probably to inherit the millions of the corruptlly attained wealth, and now she is even fighting the sons of the late Solomon fro accessing conspiracy the estate, demanding DNA, and yet their late father acknowledged them. Her daughters must also be subjected to DNA testing, period.

reason - 30 October 2014

Joyce Mujuru is a liberator.She will prevail at Congress.The sheningans going on at the party headquarters today are actually campaigning in her favour.There is no were the people of Zimbabwe can choose Grace instead of Joyce.Mugabe is as good as dead and so whatever he says at Congress will not be listened to by anybody.I pity the old man that he will die a disappointed man,just like Banda.

Kufandada - 30 October 2014

@reason, I take it your dictator's family is very clean. Who threatened Nestle with closure if the company did not buy Gushungo Milk? It was Mugabe himself. That is extortion. Who invaded Interfresh farms (A listed company).. Grace Mugabe. Who is evicting communities in Mazowe and grabbing their land? Where did the Mugabe family source USD 20 million to invest in Mazoe as per Grace? How did Grace's first born with Stanley, manage to purchase a mine in the Midlands? Who are the partners in the latest Russian USD 3bn platinum investment. All this has to be interrogated as well. There are many corrupt activities within the so called first family. Who is managing Diamond sales in Dubai? Wake up.

connie - 30 October 2014

Either way change is now inevitable in Zim.Mai Mujuru will be the next President.

Gwandibva - 30 October 2014

Jonathan Moyo deserves sando dzake he has managed as he pledged in 2007 to destroy ZANUPF from within. Thank professor for a job well done. Instead of concentrating and trying to infiltrate MDC the CIO are seized with the ZANUPF succession wars. Again thank you for organising the on going demonstration we are seeing beyond this our sights are on 2018 elections .Remove the most popular candidate and we shall have a party . A mere reminder of gukurahundi will sway votes in our favour. yours truly anti ZANUPF at heart.

Aluta Continua - 30 October 2014

Imbavha dzose muzanupf unfortunately Grace waona kuti baba hapachina better atore iye chinzvimbo not Joice. but the way she has gone about it is dangerous and i personally hate Jezebel to the bone we wait to see

fambai - 30 October 2014

The Mazowe land belong to makorekore, ko kuChivhu kwashatei?

Mukorekore - 30 October 2014

Imbavha dzose muzanupf unfortunately Grace waona kuti baba hapachina better atore iye chinzvimbo not Joice. but the way she has gone about it is dangerous and i personally hate Jezebel to the bone we wait to see

fambai - 30 October 2014

Well done Jonathan Moyo you are almost close to achieving your primary objective...to destroy ZANU once and for all. BOB a message for you ''You dare touch that lady called Joiyce we will f*** the shit out of you and your family. Soon you will be gone and your family is doomed. Mnangagwa your silent maneuvers will not achieve anything. THINGS FALL APRT the CENTRE CANNOT HOLD wither ZANU pasi naMugabe, pasi naDisGrace. MDC guys let us enjoy the drama but pasi naTendai Biti he was being used to destroy MDC but the move failed dismally.

Garikayi - 30 October 2014

the move worked mdc t is now history. too weak to challenge a devided zanu. mdc ine headache.

zvirozviyedzwa - 30 October 2014

why is god's time taking this long we are tired of these four faced people . the country has gone to dogs.

zpf - 30 October 2014

Reason uses his back to think so don't worry about him. If he sees how filthy rich some of Mugabe's yesterday people you wonder when they worked. Yes Russel mwana we musoja akawanepi mari yekutenga mughodhi, handiti paakarowa ku Bulawayo ainge anechijumba chema 100 usd akachiwana kupi ehe pabhawa riye riye pakazotumwa raoti na Dr grace. Imbavha dzose.

maita - 30 October 2014

Solomon must pay for what he did he is the one who made Mugabe a leader of zanu even when Tongogara was in charge that tells us that Solomon never respected his commander . Now is pay back his wife is being chased away from zanu like a whore i say toko . Why you say Joyce was a great hero during the war zimbabweans do not know what extra ordinary things she did during that time. May be to be bonked by a commander in some shacks in bushes of Moza makes her your colourful heroine . Both Grace and Mujuru must go we want a new gvt which is not from zanu . That is exactly what sane zimbabweans want.

Diibulaanyika - 30 October 2014

Mai Mujuru is the next President either as a Zanu Pf or Gamatox. vana reason imbwa dzaJonathan Moyo idzo

Gunz - 30 October 2014

kuti pane munhu anedzakakwana angavhotera kuti ngwena aite president muno nhema chena

hondo - 30 October 2014

let those who are clean cast the first stone

onias - 31 October 2014

After all has been said and done life goes on. we need to think of the future. look trade sanctions have been removed by EU and Western countries including the UK are sending business delegations to our beloved country. Dont be left out. start your own business. we will help you register a company here in Zimbabwe. we will also help you with all the required processes to enable you to start operating. call us 0771 419 294 or 0776 228 760 email flixcomsol@gmail.com

Flixcom Solutions - 31 October 2014

GUYS ZANU INOTIJAIRIRA.. WHO IS GRACE.. LEADERSHIP IS NOT SEXUALLY TRANSIMITTED

angry - 31 October 2014

Cdes, in the 2000's there was a song entilted 'Makanganwa masununguka makarika ..... ' sung by some soldiers and what a prophecy fulfilled NOW

martin chipimo - 31 October 2014

Grace is just wasting her time and being used, achasura chando kamurume kake Bobby kafa. nezwi rake kana achitaura nderemunhu asina kana chiremera. If she deems Mujuru a thief and corrupt, then her husband is worse than that, and she is even worse. Achamama kana murume wake abaya, ndo pachawona kuti Zimbabwe ndeyeropa

muchasura - 31 October 2014

Is this the same person who called Gen Josh senile? If she is, zwana ubunandi ntomb'endala. Ndeyeropa nxa wawungazi.

Jamengweni Godonga - 31 October 2014

Who is not corrupt in ZANU pf anyway? Just leave Mai Mujuru alone. For selfish political ambitions, some people feel threatened.

Mondo - 1 November 2014

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