While mystery still surrounds the circumstances around the death of Retired General Solomon Mujuru in an inferno early this week, all the main political party leaders and supporters are expected to throng the National Heroes’ Acre today to pay their last respects.
Both MDC formations had declared the national shrine a no-go area saying it had become Zanu PF’s private property but in a rare show of unity, both parties said they would be in attendance today.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said he would attend the burial of the “undisputed national hero”, but was quick to attack the Zanu PF politburo for “wasting time and energy discussing the obvious”.
“In fact, it did not make sense for the politburo to waste time and energy discussing the obvious. His (Mujuru’s) contributions during and after independence had conferred him hero status. He is an undisputed national hero,” said Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka.
Tsvangirai has been fighting Zanu PF to end its monopoly over national shrines prompting President Robert Mugabe to declare the Heroes’ Acre was only for Zanu PF members.
President Mugabe recently said those who wanted to be buried at the Heroes’ Acre should instead build their own place.
Mujuru was a respected figure within and outside Zanu PF whose unique way of life made him likeable to many from across the political divide.
The Welshman Ncube- led MDC yesterday said Mujuru was different from the likes of Border Gezi who were declared national heroes by the Zanu PF politburo as his contribution to the country during and after independence was of note.
MDC Kurauone Chihwai said it did not need the Zanu PF politburo to tell the nation that Mujuru was a hero as his contribution was not doubted like other “bogus national heroes buried at the national shrine”.
Said Chihwai: “We urge our party supporters to go and bury the general. He is one of the few genuine heroes different from the likes of Border Gezi and others. He did not need the Zanu PF politburo to sit or to tell us that he was a hero. We know our heroes.”
Job Sikhala, leader of the MDC99, also confirmed he would attend the burial at the National Heroes’ Acre. Police yesterday said they did not expect any skirmishes at the Heroes’ Acre but in any event, they were equal to the task.