Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s remarks to the effect that she suspects foul play over the death of her husband, Retired Army General Solomon Mujuru, in a mysterious inferno last week on Tuesday, have all but reopened deep-rooted divisions in Zanu PF and security circles over how to proceed with the sensitive issue.
This follows revelations that although the army has a Military Intelligence Department (MID), the Defence ministry was distancing itself from the investigations.
Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said his ministry was not part of the investigating team.
“As to how far the investigations have gone, that is not under the purview of my ministry. The right minister to talk to is the Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, because the investigations are being done by specialists in his ministry, (power utility) Zesa and forensic scientists,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi said: “All I can say is that investigations are still ongoing.”
However, it is felt the MID has to be part of the team, considering the deceased was a former army general.
Thus, analysts believe Mujuru’s comments are set to divide the former liberation movement even further.
On Sunday, President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba came out guns blazing, accusing the country’s most popular daily, NewsDay, and its sister weekly Zimbabwe Independent in particular, of questioning the genuineness of the fire.
“The ‘cub-doctors’ in the newsroom are ingenuously trying to tell us why the General should not have been consumed by fire. In their little lives, they cannot fathom this charred body.
“Yet, they have carried stories of charred bodies and accidents before,” Charamba told the State-controlled weekly Sunday Mail.
It has, however, turned out that the avalanche of questions asked by NewsDay were in fact the same queries Vice-President Mujuru raised and wanted answered for her to find peace.
“It was closer (for him) to use the window than the door. So for a military man, it’s so weird that he could have failed to escape the fire . . . They should tell us what happened from 20:30 hours when he arrived home to when the fire was seen.
This is where the story is,” said the Vice-President as she addressed the women’s national soccer team, the Mighty Warriors, who had visited her to pay condolences on Tuesday.
Political analyst John Makumbe said the Vice-President and the nation at large were justified to suspect foul play.
“There is complete confusion within Zanu PF structures. But, there is also a lot of suspicion. I don’t think the Vice-President could have said it lightly. She is definitely saying the tragedy was suspicious. Anyone trying to dismiss it may be knowing something he/she is trying to hide,” Makumbe said.
He added General Mujuru’s tragic demise had thrown Zanu PF into disarray.
“Zanu PF is in a quandary. There is now suspicion of each other.
“Enemies of Zanu PF are now within the party. Everyone in the party is looking over their shoulder, thinking they could be next. It has weakened the party and fear now rules in Zanu PF,” Makumbe said.