President Mugabe consoles Vice-President Joice Mujuru during the burial of her husband, the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru, at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare yesterday, while Fr Fidelis Mukonori looks on., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Adios Cde Rex...We shall always ask why: President
Sunday, 21 August 2011 02:14
By Lovemore Chikova
PRESIDENT Mugabe has said the tragic events surrounding the death of General Solomon Mujuru will forever baffle the nation.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was speaking at the burial of the late national army commander at the National Heroes’ Acre yesterday.
Gen Mujuru, whose Chimurenga name was Rex Nhongo, died in an inferno at his farmhouse in Beatrice on Tuesday last week.
“No one ever imagined that such a battle-hardened soldier could die so ingloriously, so uneventfully,” said President Mugabe.
“The tragic occurrence which has brought us all here will forever baffle us. For a very long time, we shall continue to ask: why, why, why?”
President Mugabe said Gen Mujuru did not deserve to die in the manner he did.
He said the tragic events were more painful, especially considering that Gen Mujuru had survived many battles of the Second Chimurenga and the harsh conditions of the bush.
“Today is a very sad day indeed, that saps our energies and devastates our hearts,” said President Mugabe.
“It is painful. But this is how God willed it and we cannot do anything about it, except to grieve, to ask so many questions and finally to accept his demise even though it will always hurt.”
President Mugabe described Gen Mujuru as a “gallant soldier-liberator, a fearless nationalist, a consistent cadre who put his life on the line for a people, for our country, indeed for our nation.
“The grief has been genuine and heartfelt; the grief has been spontaneous, grief issuing from well beneath the heart, indeed the grief of genuine affection and deep respect for a role well played, an honour well earned.”
The President said the cruel fire that claimed the life of Gen Mujuru would not “consume his role and fame, both of which assure his place in the long history of Zimbabwe.
“For he is a brave fighter, a fighter of fighters, a freedom fighter who never used command or title to avoid the risks of war,” he said.
“We gather here to bury a cadre who saw it all, a cadre distilled by the revolution, a cadre tried and tested, and hardened in the crucible of a protracted struggle.”
President Mugabe said Gen Mujuru, together with others like the late national heroes Cde Josiah Tongogara, Cde Vitalis Zvinavashe, Cde Josiah Tungamirai and Cde Lookout Masuku, were instrumental in shaping the liberation struggle.
He said the fighters’ leaders re-strategised after a phase of failure in which fighters were easily defeated by the rogue Ian Smith regime.
“We used the imagery of a fish and water, stressing the need for the freedom fighters to forge relations of mutual trust and dependence with the masses,” said President Mugabe.
“This was the gospel of our two parties, a gospel which commanders like Rex inculcated in the fighters.
“We worked with the people, resting the whole war effort on their conscious commitment to overthrowing foreign occupation so their grievances would be addressed through the instrumentality of a national people’s government which we envisaged after the war.”
The President said Gen Mujuru, who rose to become the deputy commander of Zanla, fought the war to bring sovereignty to the country.
“Rex did not go to war so that the land remains shackled, occupied by a small white settler class,” he said.
“Rex did not sacrifice the better part of his life, so a nation of mere labourers would emerge. We were that already before he went to war."
President Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to take control of industries and the means of production.
He said indigenous people should not be content with being chief executive officers.
The President also castigated those making super profits by exploiting the masses.
"Zimbabweans are now going for high prices," he said. "You want to be rich in one day. Only thieves get rich in one day."
President Mugabe said the issues of sovereignty, land and ownership of natural resources were not negotiable.
He, however, urged Zimbabweans to desist from political violence and foster peace.
"We do not want violence," he said. "Please, no violence, no violence, no violence.
"Let us have peace among us. If you are Zanu-PF you know the aims of Zanu-PF.
"If it is chinja, you know that they say chinja, saying things should not remain the same. While we say: how can you change your father and mother?"
-The Sunday Mail