Zimbabwe Vice-President Joice Mujuru with her late husband retired General Solomon Mujuru. General Mujuru died as a result of a fire at his home., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe: He Was a True Soldier, Says President
17 August 2011
PRESIDENT Mugabe has described former Zimbabwe National Army Commander General Solomon Mujuru, who was killed in a house fire at his farm in Beatrice yesterday, as a true soldier whose life should be a "Bible" for generations to come.
Condolence messages started pouring in yesterday.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said Gen Mujuru's death was overwhelming and shocking.
He was speaking after viewing the former Zanla Commander's charred remains at One Commando Barracks in Harare yesterday.
Police have since launched investigations into the cause of the fire while the remains are being examined by pathologists at One Commando Barracks.
"Chigariro handisati ndaona mufiro wakadai. Kana vaye vanonzi vadzivirirwa mumba vakazofa inga vanenge vachioneka vanenyama dzavo. Ichi chishamiso," President Mugabe said.
He said Rtd Gen Mujuru "deserved a better death than that" adding, "soldiers do not die but fade away."
President Mugabe went on to narrate the pivotal role that was played by the veteran freedom fighter during the war and after independence.
He said so brave and committed to the struggle was Rtd Gen Mujuru that he earned the trust of the late Zanla Commander Cde Josiah Tongogara.
President Mugabe said after the death of Cde Tongogara in a car accident, Rtd Gen Mujuru, worked well together with the late General Vitalis Zvinavashe and Josiah Tungamirai.
"Ndivo vakomana vakazorova hondo ivavo. Rex (Rtd Gen Mujuru) ndiye aiiswa pamberi naZvinavashe naTungamirai," he said.
President Mugabe said following the Lancaster House talks, Rtd Gen Mujuru played an important role in mobilising freedom fighters at assembly points throughout the country.
At independence, Rtd Gen Mujuru became the first black Army Commander.
"Saka you can see kuti Rex anga ari munhu akadii. Aifambidzana navamwe. Aiva munhu anoda kuseka ane majokes. Ndati ndikuudzei kuti muone kuti munhu anomushando wakadaro akazvipira akarwira nyika. A true soldier should have died nebullet, not this way, oh Lord," President Mugabe said.
To Vice President Joice Mujuru, he said: "That is the way of life. Ndizvo zvada Mwari kuti aite mufiro uyoyo. Ndini ndakatanga kuva widower, zvinowava widow wo."
VP Mujuru had told President Mugabe that she was disturbed by the way her husband died.
"Handisati ndamboona kutsva kwakadaro. Munhu kutsva kupera kudaro here?" she said.
President Mugabe urged the Mujuru siblings to support their mother during these trying times.
"He is one of the greatest among our people and his name will remain ever indelible. We can never forget what he has done. We must gain strength from his departure," the President said.
In his condolence message, President Mugabe said the horrific tragedy robbed the nation of a veteran commander of the liberation struggle.
"A courageous fighter and commander who led from the front, General Mujuru was part of the wartime command, which moulded thousands of young men and women who had crossed borders into Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania into a formidable and disciplined guerilla army with the capability of militarily dismantling the racist settler colonial dispensation," he said.
"We recall with admiration how he successfully steered the delicate integration exercise, which brought together 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."
He said Zimbabwe today boasts of a professional defence force traceable to Rtd Gen Mujuru's pioneering command.
"On behalf of the party, Zanu-PF, Government and the entire people of a free Zimbabwe, I wish to express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to our Vice President Amai Joice Teurairopa Mujuru and the Mujuru family on this very sad and tragic loss, which shall be felt and acknowledged across the whole nation and even beyond," President Mugabe said.
Senior Government officials including Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and service chiefs were at One Commando Barracks where they viewed the remains of Rtd Gen Mujuru.
Zanu-PF national chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, described the death of Gen Mujuru as a great loss to the nation.
"Retired General Solomon Mujuru's horrific and untimely demise is only comparable to a political tsunami, which has hit Zimbabwe with unparalleled ferocity.
"He was an accomplished military strategist and a shrewd political tactician. His impeccable liberation war credentials speak volumes of an aptitude revolutionary, a visionary and a courageous commander and a man of destiny," he said.
Cde Khaya Moyo said Gen Mujuru was not just an ordinary commander.
"He was a digestive thinker, a man of purpose and indeed one of Zimbabwe's jewels.
"As Thomas Jefferson once said, 'In matters of style, swim with the current, in matters of principle stand like a rock.' General Mujuru subscribed to this philosophy all his life," Cde Khaya Moyo said.
He said to Gen Mujuru, the 1987 unity accord between Zanu PF and PF Zapu and the integration of Zipra and Zanla forces into the Zimbabwe national army was "irreversible and a milestone achievement."
"He died on the farm he liberated and indeed Zimbabwe is free and independent because of the illustrious role he played and many other comrades in pursuit of our sovereignty.
"He has left us a duty to complete the circle for total economic emancipation. We will miss him greatly, particularly in the Politburo and other spheres of human endeavour. His legacy lives forever," Cde Khaya Moyo said.
Zanu-PF national spokesperson, Cde Rugare Gumbo, said the party had received with a sense of sadness and grief the news of the death of Gen Mujuru.
"Police are carrying out investigations to establish the cause of the fire and only then can full details be released.
"General Mujuru was one of the architects of the Zimbabwe revolution. He together with the likes of General Josiah Magama Tongogara, Cde Josiah Tungamirai, Cde William Ndangana, Cde Mayor
Urimbo, Cde Joseph Chimurenga, Cde Justin Chauke, Cde Charles Dauramanzi, Cde Chinamaropa, Cde Gwauya and many other fighters formed the nucleus of the ZANLA forces, which started the war of liberation that dismantled the fascist and racist Rhodesian regime.
"The country has lost a rare breed of a cadre, indeed a commander par excellence who was one of the pioneers of the armed struggle against colonial tyranny and went on to remain firm and resolute.
"He was a strategic thinker who appreciated the political, economic and social dynamics of Zimbabwe and was always ready to offer possible solutions to such problems.
"On behalf of the Presidium, Politburo, Central Committee and all members of the party we wish to express our deep and heartfelt condolences to Vice President Joice Mujuru, children, the Mujuru family and indeed the country as a whole," Cde Gumbo said.
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe: Mujuru Death - Police Launch Full-Scale Probe
17 August 2011
POLICE have launched full-scale investigations into the cause of the fire that killed former Zimbabwe National Army Commander Retired General Solomon Mujuru (66) yesterday morning.
Preliminary investigations suggest the fire could have been caused by a candle left burning in the house.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday said joint investigations by security and other organisations including the force's forensic unit and Zesa Holdings were underway.
"So far, initial investigations reveal that the fire could have been caused by a candle lit by a domestic servant when lights went out. That position is not conclusive as we are still carrying out more investigations," he said.
The Zanu-PF Politburo member was alone at his Alamein Farmhouse, 60km south of Harare when tragedy struck.
His maid, who stays in separate quarters away from the main house, was among the first people to be alerted of the fire.
The 18-roomed house was extensively damaged.
Nothing was recovered save for sofas and few other items.
The maid said she was alerted by her brother who lives in the area whereupon she informed other workers and later phoned Beatrice Police at around 3am.
Police rushed to the farm and on arrival found the house engulfed by the inferno.
Police looked for Gen Mujuru in the house, but to no avail.
His remains were later discovered in one of the lounges burnt beyond recognition.
Police and pathologists removed the remains at around 11am.
Patrons at Beatrice Motel, where Gen Mujuru was last seen having drinks on Monday, said he left the motel at 7:30pm saying he was going to prepare for a journey to Beitbridge on the morrow.
His farm is approximately a 20-minute drive from the motel.
The farm has two entry points, which are guarded by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and a private security firm.
The house is partially obscured by tobacco barns from the two guardrooms.
The guards reportedly only realised there was fire after hearing noise from the collapsing roof.
There was no power in the Beatrice on Monday from 7pm to 9pm.
Police from the CID and forensic units and Zesa Holdings officials had last night cordoned off the farmhouse for further investigations.
The death of Cde Mujuru proved a big test for the Harare Fire Brigade amid reports that the city dispatched fire tenders that did not have water.
Sources in the fire department, however, pointed out that even if the fire tenders had carried water from Harare, it would not have been enough to extinguish the inferno.
They said water sourced from a nearby dam was used to save part of the house.
Late yesterday afternoon, town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi said he was not aware of the reports, adding he was still to receive a briefing on the fire.
A sombre atmosphere engulfed the farm yesterday as workers and relatives battled to come to terms with the tragedy.
Senior Government officials, including his widow Vice President Joice Mujuru and other family members, rushed to the farm in the morning when alerted of the incident.
Among those who visited the farm in the morning were Co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Sibanda, Commissioner of Prisons Retired Major General Paradzai Zimondi, Director-General of the Central Intelligence Organisation Retired Major-General Happyton Bonyongwe, Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo and Zanu-PF Mashonaland East provincial chairman Cde Ray Kaukonde.
Cde Sekeremayi described the death of Gen Mujuru as a sad loss to the nation.
"It is hard to believe he is no more. We came here early in the morning and I initially thought he was badly burnt, only to see charred remains on arrival. One of Zimbabwe's greatest sons is no more."
Cde Kaukonde said: "It's a tragedy for us in the province. We have lost our man and a pillar in the province. He tried to guide us a lot."
Cde Shamu said Cde Mujuru was a military strategist and commander par excellence.
"Cde Rex Nhongo's name was synonymous with the liberation struggle. This is a tragedy, which is difficult to fathom. His name is synonymous with the history of the whole liberation struggle. We have lost a military commander and a strategist par excellence.
"He was a very brave fighter and illustrious son of the soil."
Cde Gumbo said: "We have lost a resolute, gallant and committed cadre who contributed innocuously to the liberation struggle and to the economy of Zimbabwe. He was a farmer and businessman.
"This loss is not only to the Mujuru family, but also to the party and nation as a whole. We will miss his contribution in the Politburo."
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe: Scores Throng Mujuru Residence
17 August 2011
SCORES of mourners from a cross section of Zimbabwe's society thronged the official Mujuru residence in Chisipite in Harare yesterday to pay their condolences to Vice President Joice Mujuru.
The First Lady Amai Mugabe flanked VP Mujuru at her residence.
The mourners included representatives from diverse backgrounds including politics, business and traditional leaders.
President of the Zimbabwe Chiefs Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira said death had robbed Zimbabwe of a gallant freedom fighter and leader.
"For this moment I can say God has decided to forsake us because we are now left unprotected as a country. This was a man who not only emancipated the country but was also the only surviving commander from the liberation struggle.
"Given the friction that is in the country at the moment, we needed people like General Mujuru. He was a sober person and had a balancing role to play in the current scenario," he said.
Gen Mujuru, he said, was a sober leader who fought for the majority of Zimbabweans to have access to their land and resources and would be solely missed by many.
Zanu-PF Harare provincial chairman Cde Amos Midzi said Gen Mujuru's death came as a shock.
"The loss is a shocker and tragedy at the same time. For a man who travelled the way he travelled in terms of fighting for the freedom of the country, one could never imagine that he had to go that way.
"This is a loss that is difficult to imagine, he was a simple man who was not difficult to approach and could speak to anyone, we shall all miss him," he said.
His counterpart from Mashonaland Central Cde Dickson Mafios described Gen Mujuru's death as painful.
"We are shocked and pained by his death, he was indeed a pillar of the struggle and the whole nation and united everyone in the party.
"He was humble and approachable and offered advice on various issues from politics to business, we have lost a good man indeed," he said.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora commended Gen Mujuru for his role during and after independence.
"The MDC-T family is very saddened at the death of General Mujuru, his works before and after independence objectively and undoubtedly qualifies him to be a national hero after fighting white oppression," he said.
MDC-T Harare province spokesperson, Mr Obert Gutu expressed shock at the death of Gen Mujuru.
"The untimely and tragic loss of Rtd General Solomon Mujuru has been received with a great sense of grief and sorrow by all Zimbabweans across the political divide.
"General Mujuru was an icon of the liberation struggle. He belongs to that rare and brave breed of early nationalist guerillas who put their lives on the line and decided to take up arms to liberate the people from racist colonial oppression," he said.
Mr Gutu added: "We join the Mujuru family and indeed, the entire nation, in mourning the passing on of a gallant son of the soil.
"A most humble man who despised political violence, we salute General Mujuru for tirelessly fighting against political violence and intolerance. A humble liberation icon has fallen. We salute him. May his departed soul rest in eternal peace."
Mr Gutu is Senator for Chisipite.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Collaborators Association described Gen Mujuru as the "epitome of courage and sacrifice for the liberation of the country."
Association spokesperson Cde Shine Chakanyuka said Gen Mujuru was an illustrious son whose contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe was immeasurable.
"Death is a coward. We are in pain and do hereby pass our condolences to the Vice President Mai Mujuru and the family, President, Cde RG Mugabe and Zanu-PF," Cde Chakanyuka said.
After learning of the untimely death of Rtd Gen Mujuru, the Zimbabwean trade and tourism delegation in Brazil sent a message of condolence.
The message was delivered by Cde Walter Mzembi, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the company of Ambassador Thomas Bvuma, Dr Sylvester Nguni and permanent secretary Mr Munesu Munodawafa.
"On behalf of the tourism, trade and investment delegation and on my own behalf we have learnt with great shock and profound sadness the untimely passing of Rtd Gen Tapfumaneyi Mujuru. As the nation would be aware we were supposed to travel to Brazil with Vice President Joice Mujuru as the leader of the delegation on this business mission. But due to work commitments she deferred the departure initially to August 13 but we were now expecting her to join the delegation on August 19 and proceeded to meet her counterpart the vice president of Brazil Mr Michael Temer in addition to other engagements.
"Rtd General Mujuru will be remembered as a fearless and tireless military strategist and liberation icon who contributed immensely to the liberation of Zimbabwe and the consolidation of our independence and sovereignty. We extend our utmost sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mai Mujuru, her children, the party and the entire nation at large. May the Mujuru family take comfort and solace in the knowledge that our thoughts and prayers are with them at this most trying and difficult time."
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces yesterday joined in mourning Gen Mujuru.
His longtime friend, Zapu leader Dr Dumiso Dabengwa said the country had lost a true hero.
"We met in 1969 when he trained for combat under Zipra," said Dr Dabengwa.
He said they immediately became close friends because Rtd Gen Mujuru was visionary and they shared a passion for black emancipation.
He said infighting at Zipra between 1970 and 1971, Rtd Gen Mujuru crossed over to Zanla, where he became a commander under the late national hero, Cde Josiah Magama Tongogara.
"Even then, we were close and continued to work together on issues of national development. He was a brave man who was not afraid to speak his mind. Until his death, he was a steadfast revolutionary who gave his all for his country," he said.
Dr Dabengwa said Rtd Gen Mujuru was an acting Zanla commander until more infighting caused the formation of the Zimbabwe People's Army (Zipa), a united force of Zipra and Zanla, which he jointly led with the late Cde Nikita Mangena.
"I was one of the many people who celebrated when he was named Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, together with the late Lookout Masuku, soon after independence.
"We continued working closely when I was a Zanu-PF Politburo member. He had stunning insights into problems that the country was facing and often came up with innovative solutions.
"It is very sad and painful to lose a friend like him. He toiled for the good of this country. This was not the proper way for him to go."
Zanu-PF secretary for education, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said the country had lost a true cadre.
"Cde Mujuru was a true cadre and a great man. I knew him way back when he worked with the likes of the late Cde Nikita Mangena during the liberation struggle until we came back into the country in 1980," said Dr Ndlovu.
Zanu-PF Midlands province chairman Cde Jason Machaya said: "We have lost a true hero. His history and achievement are too long to chronicle."