US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray was yesterday denied access to Acting President Joice Mujuru to pay his condolences, following the death of her husband, Retired General Solomon Mujuru, who died in a tragic fire incident on Tuesday morning.
Ray was made to endure a long winding queue with ordinary people who had come to mourn the death of the national hero.
The queue was disrupted for minutes while Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Stan Mudenge tried to negotiate for Ray to “jump” the queue.
The US Ambassador was moved from one entrance to the other, as security personnel appeared determined to frustrate him.
However, after a long endurance, Ray decided to leave.
He said: “My sincere condolences to the family. I met him (Mujuru) once and I appreciate the great works that he did for this country.”
On what had happened, the diplomat said : “I am a former military man myself and accustomed to standing in the queue. I understand (what happened), but I managed to send my condolences.”
Ray appeared unmoved by what had happened and even thanked some of the police officers.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s first born son, Edwin and his sister Vimbai paid their condolences. Edwin said he only had casual interactions with the late General, but appreciated what he did for the country.
“I am a young Zimbabwean and a beneficiary of his efforts. I feel saddened that such a tragedy has befallen the nation,” he said.