Friday, August 26, 2011

Daughters of Retired-General Solomon Mujuru Pay Tribute to a Family Man

Go well dad, our best friend

Sunday, 21 August 2011 02:11
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

THE late General Solomon Mujuru’s daughters from left Kuzivakwashe 22, Nyasha Del Campo 28, Chipo Makoni 32 and Kumbirai Mujuru found time to share a lighter moment at their home in Chisipite last week.

By Phyllis Kachere

“HAVING been daddy’s little girl since birth, I would literally get away with murder with him. It was an unwritten expectation in our household that I could do as I wished and no one expected daddy to be angry with me no matter what.

“But when I told him during a little tiff with one of my siblings that I was no longer his little girl, I realised I had hurt my best friend, the one that I could talk to about anything with. I had never seen him that dejected.”

As she described the soft and nurturing side of the late national hero and a key architect of the liberation war General Solomon Tapfumaneyi Mujuru, his last daughter Kuzivakwashe Mujuru fought back tears that threatened to flood her face.

“The dejection on his face told it all. I had hurt him. And his stammering did not help him either,” 22-year-old Kuzivakwashe told The Sunday Mail at the family home in Chisipite, Harare, on Wednesday.

“He always referred to Sis Kumbi (referring to Gen Mujuru’s eldest daughter Kumbirai Mujuru) as vahanzvadzi. He said Sis Kumbi reminded him of his sister and it was va-va-vahanzvadzi throughout when it came to Sis Kumbi,” chipped in Mrs Chipo Makoni (32), who is his second daughter.

It was sad to know that as the Mujuru girls buried their dear father yesterday, it was Chipo’s birthday.

“All that I know about bicycles and men, I learnt from him. Yes, to others he was a battle-hardened soldier, but to us he remained a soft father. He never brought his military discipline to us. The humblest man I have ever known, he taught us to be humble,” said Kumbirai.

Chipo said General Mujuru was full of humour and sometimes was sarcastic, but he never meant it in a malicious way.

“Down-to-earth, this best describes this man everybody calls General. He taught us humility and never to judge other people. He would stand in a queue and would never try to jump the queue,” said Chipo.

For his third daughter Mrs Nyasha Del Campo, Gen Mujuru had a great sense of humour.

“It is a great honour to have had him as a father. I had daily access to him. Always there and always having solutions to all sorts of problems. I am heartbroken,” said Mrs Del Campo.

She said Gen Mujuru taught them to be humble as he himself was.

“He would go and play draughts with the poorest in Dzivaresekwa. No one will ever match his humility.

And for va-va-vahanzvadzi Kumbirai Mujuru (33) Gen Mujuru always had a soft spot for his daughters.

“We had this room always filled with sweets and he would just come and say out of the blue, ‘Va-va-na-a-angu (mimicking his stammer) huyai tidye maswiti (My children, come let’s eat sweets).

“He would reward success and discourage failure. He never berated us when we failed in an endeavour. Above all, he never kept grudges. Even when we got married he never demanded outrageous lobola for us,” said Kumbirai.

“He was a very forgetful man, perhaps that explained why he never kept grudges. When he eventually remembered you had wronged him, he would go, ‘Ha-a-a-. gara zviya wakanditadziraka iwe’ (Oh by the way, you wronged me) and then he would burst into laughter. One would know all is forgiven,” said Nyasha.

The girls said Gen Mujuru never expected any of them to join him in his military career.
“But if there was one who could have become a soldier amongst us, it would be Nyasha. She has a kind of military discipline in her,” chorused the Mujuru girls all too aware that dear dad was gone.

-The Sunday Mail

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