Solomon Mujuru

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General
Solomon Mujuru
General
Mujuru.jpg
Solomon Mujuru
Native name Solomon Mujuru
Born Solomon Mutusva
Chivhu, Mashonaland East Province
Died Beatrice
Cause of death
Fire
Body discovered
16 August 2011
Resting place
National Heroes Acre, Harare
Other names Rex Nhongo
Citizenship Zimbabwean
Education Kwenda Mission, Rufaro Mission School, Zimuto Secondary School
Occupation Army General, Businessman, Farmer.
Years active 1960-2011
Employer Government of Zimbabwe
Organization Ministry of Defence
Known for Second Chimurenga, Third Chimurenga
Notable work(s) Role in the Second Chimurenga
Home town Chikomba
Term 1980-1995
Successor Vitalis Zvinavashe
Political party
Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Spouse(s) Joice Mujuru, Faith Mujuru
Children Tendai Mujuru, Tawanda Mujuru, Tsitsi Mujuru, Bianca Mujuru, Kumbirai Mujuru, Nyasha Mujuru, Chipo Mujuru

Solomon Rex Nhongo Mujuru was a decorated army general who served in the Zimbabwe African Liberation Army during the Second Chimurenga and in the Zimbabwe National Army after independence. He also served in the ZANU PF politburo and Central Committee and was at the time of his death member of parliament for Chikomba district in Mashonaland East Province. He was also a successful businessman and farmer.

Background

He was born on the 1st of May 1949 and died on 16 August 2011. Born Solomon Mutusva, Solomon Mujuru, was born in Chivhu, then Charter District in Southern Rhodesia. Mujuru attended Kwenda and Rufaro missions for his primary education and Zimuto Secondary School in Masvingo.[1] Mujuru grew up in an area where colonial rule was coercive. This prompted him, together with other youths, to partake in political activism which saw him being arrested whist he was doing his form three at Zimuto Secondary School in Masvingo.[1]

Political and Military Career

After having spent two years in prison, Solomon Mujuru left the country for Zambia in the 1960s where he joined the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) which operated from its Lusaka headquatres. He proceeded to join the military wing of the party Zimbabwe African People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA).He was sent to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, now Russia, for military training. He did further military training in Bulgaria, Egypt and Tanzania.[2]

In 1971, Mujuru joined the sister revolutionary party Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and was deployed again in the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). It was during this period when Mujuru rose to prominence under his guerrilla name Rex Nhongo. Among his military surbobinates, Mujuru was affectionately referred to as Mukoma Rex and this was also assiciated with his great military exploits and brilliant strategy in the battlefield.[1]

Mujuru at one point in 1975 became the acting commander general of the ZANLA forces. In 1976 after the merging of ZANLA and ZIPRA to form one military front called the Zimbabwe People's Army, Mujuru was appointed the joint commander. He was responsible for the smooth operations of the two revolutionary armies whilst most of the nationalist leaders such as Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo were either in exile or in prison.[2]

In 1977, Mujuru assumed the role of Deputy Secretary of Defence in the Zanu party. He was responsible for helping in strategising the military exploits of the party as well as to arrange the recruitment, training and deployment of guerrillas.[3]

Positions in Independent Zimbabwe

Soon after the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, Mujuru was one of the military leaders who was promoted to the position of a General in the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981.[2] In 1992, he was elevated to the position of a full General in the army.[2] He left public life in 1995 to concentrate on his business interests although he retained his membership of the politburo of Zanu PF.[3] Besides serving in the army, Mujuru also took part in secular politics and in 1994 he was elected Member of Parliament of Chikomba district representing his party the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF). He held the position up to 2000.

Business Interests

Mujuru was generally believed to have owned a large business empire with interests in various economic sectors. Apart from his Ruzawi farm which was located in Beatrice, Mujuru was well known for his diverse business ventures, which included mining, transport, tourism and investment in the construction industry.[4] Some speculations suggest the late General Solomon Mujuru left behind an estate worth an estimated US$9 billion.[4] Some of the properties that the late general is said to have owned include Trojan Mine, River Ranch Mine, Ruzambo Farm, Kulmic Investments, and an unnamed shopping complex in Warren Park D among other assets.[5]

Solomon Mujuru Estate

Local newspapers indicated that as at 2012, Mujuru was worthy about USD$9 billion spread across a number of investments in houses, farms, mines, hospitality, and transport companies. In 2014, The Herald reported that some of the late general's children and business associate wrote to the High Court indicating their anger over Joice Mujuru's reluctance to register the estate. According to the country's laws, the deceased's estate is supposed to be registered within two weeks after the person's death. It is believed that Mujuru's two children Tawanda and Tsitsi who are believed to be based in the United Kingdom are the ones who approached the courts over the matter in 2013.[6]

Family and Personal Life

Mujuru was married to Joice in 1977. His long time wife Joice Mujuru also fought in the liberation struggle and she was known during the war as Teurai Ropa. They sired four daughters together (Nyasha Del Campo, Chipo Makoni, Kuzivakwashe and Kumbirai).[7] He was however accused of being involved in numerous extra-marital affairs with other women. Some speculate that he had over 50 children sired out of wedlock.[4] Mujuru was generally known for his love for whisky.[4] At the height of wrangles over Mujuru's estate, it was reported that the deceased's will had disappeared from records of the high court. This raised suspicion that either the lawyers or close relatives and connived with the courts to depose the document.

Death Mystery

Mujuru died in a mysterious inferno in his farm house at Ruzawi estate in Beatrice about 100 km from Harare in mid-August 2011. There was widespread speculation surrounding the his death. Some rumoured that Mujuru was killed by Robert Mugabe's faction in the Zanu PF part due his extensive influence in the politburo which was deemed dangerous to the former.[8] There were allegations that Emmerson Mnangagwa who was the Minister of Defence during this period 'eliminated' Mujuru in order to ascertain his succession of Robert Mugabe as President.[8] Some claimed that the former commander was linked to the opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai.[8] However a legal inquest was launched with a South African based private investigation company. The courts concluded that the house accidentally caught fire which resulted in the death of the ex-army chief.[9] Thus they ruled out any foul play.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 , General Solomon Mujuru dies in suspicious fire, "Nehanda Radio", published:16 Aug 2011,retrieved:26 Jun 2014"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 , General Solomon Mujuru (Rex Nhongo), "Africa Confidential",retrieved:26 Jun 2014"
  3. 3.0 3.1 S. Chan,Solomon Mujuru Obituary, published:11 Sep 2011,retrieved:26 Jun 2014"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 T. Sibanda, Mujuru’s estate valued at $9 Billion, "SW Radio", published:17 Jul 2012,retrieved:26 Jun 2014"
  5. Fidelis Munyoro Mujuru had 2 wives, 2o kids, The Chronicle, Published: March 21, 2015, Retrieved: March 23, 2015
  6. D. Nemukuyu, Mujuru Estate in Limbo,The Herald, published:17 Nov 2011,retrieved:16 Jan 2015"
  7. P. Kachere, Daughters of Retired-General Solomon Mujuru Pay Tribute to a Family Man, "Pan African News Wire", published:21 Aug 2011,retrieved:"26 Jun 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Baba Jukwa, Baba Jukwa tackles Mujuru death, "Nehanda Radio", published:29 Jun 2013,retrieved:26 Jun 2014"
  9. , General Mujuru was a loving man: VP, "The Herald", published:30 Aug 2013,retrieved:26 Jun 2014"