Relations between President Robert Mugabe and the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru were so strained that at one point the two did not greet each other despite sitting side by side during the President’s birthday celebrations.
This was revealed by Cephas Msipa, a senior Zanu PF official and former governor for Midlands Province, during discussions with United States diplomats stationed in Harare.
Msipa, a close ally of President Mugabe, said he was aware of a rift between President Mugabe and the late former Zanla commander.
This information is contained in a US diplomatic cable leaked by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. The cable was sent by former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell.
“Msipa was well aware of the rift between (President) Mugabe and Solomon Mujuru. He noted they had sat near each other during (President) Mugabe’s birthday, but did not acknowledge each other,” read the US cable wired on March 9 2007.
The celebrations were held in Gweru on February 24.
Msipa said although he felt it was time for President Mugabe to go, the veteran leader would
still prevail in any power struggle with the former army commander.
He said Mujuru was perceived by most in the party as “greedy” and even most parliamentarians from Mashonaland East Province, Mujuru’s home area, would ultimately side with President Mugabe against Mujuru.
“Mujuru was perceived by most in the party as greedy and even most parliamentarians from Mashonaland East province, Mujuru’s home, would ultimately side with (President) Mugabe against Mujuru,” the cable quoted Msipa as having had said.
“Msipa concluded that despite opposition from within the party, (President) Mugabe, who retained the support of the security forces, still had the ability to impose his will on the party and to accomplish his goals of a term extension and harmonisation of elections.”
Mujuru died in a mysterious inferno at his farm in Beatrice in August and his remains were interred at the National Heroes’ Acre.
His death is still mired in mystery with ordinary Zimbabweans clamouring for the real cause behind the former Zanla commander’s death.
Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri last week said he had handed over findings of their investigations to the courts.
The magistrates’ court has already studied and returned to the police the docket on Mujuru.
Well-placed sources told NewsDay this week the courts had since made their recommendations, adding an inquest into the general’s death was imminent.
Legal experts said the remains were likely to be exhumed as is it was deemed necessary to establish cause of death and to ensure those responsible were brought to justice.