Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s constant public statements that she is still unaware of the contents of a police report on the tragic death of her husband retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru nearly four months ago have begun to raise eyebrows.
This comes amid growing doubts that given her position in the government and in Zanu PF and as widow of the late highly decorated general, the VP could for so long, remain in the dark.
In interviews with NewsDay, political analysts yesterday said it was unlikely that VP Mujuru had not received any information whatsoever from the probing teams and other interested parties on her husband’s mysterious death in an inferno at his farm in Beatrice in August.
Political analyst Ernest Mudzengi said: “It’s either she is genuinely in the dark, which is highly unlikely, or I think she is making a statement of protest over the circumstances in which her husband died. The latter possibility, which I think is most likely, is that she is making a statement to the effect that there was foul play.
“Obviously there are people close to the investigations who sympathise with her and could have told her the contents of the police report.”
Another political commentator, Hopewell Gumbo, said chances that the Vice-President was aware of the contents of the police probe were high, but “nobody wants to dare fly into the dark cloud and mystery surrounding the case”.
“The death has aroused a lot of suspicion and curiosity and the whole nation is waiting for an official report on the death of the gallant soldier, and equally, VP Mujuru would wait for such a report even if she knows something by now,” Gumbo said.
Political observer Shingai Chimwaza agreed: “Given the status of VP Mujuru in both government and Zanu PF, one is tempted to believe she is privy to the contents of the police probe, but she is weighing her options, putting first her business interests and family security before anything else. Mind you, the husband was the real power behind her political office, therefore, she feels vulnerable.”
Commentator Brian Ngwenya said VP Mujuru’s stance was a diplomatic one since it was not advisable for her to publicly discuss the contents of the probe before it was officially released.
“I suppose it’s part of her high diplomacy,”
Ngwenya said, adding, “It may not be wise and advisable for her to divulge the contents of the probe before it’s released officially. It’s the best stance that anyone in her position could take given not only her position in government, but the fact that she is part of the Mujuru family.”
Analyst Charles Mangongera said the issue could be very sensitive and therefore it was possible that some executive decisions could be made without the involvement of the late General’s widow in spite of her senior position in the party and in government.
“It is possible that she has not seen the report. That the police have embargoed the report to me suggests that it is probably damning. It may have devastating implications, in which case the police would be inclined to lock it up and throw the key into Lake Kariba,” he said.
Former student leader Blessing Vava, however, believes VP Mujuru could be sincere that she was unaware of the contents of the police probe.
“VP Mujuru might be sincere that she is unaware of the contents of the police report, she has no power in the Zanu PF hierarchy despite being a deputy to (President Robert) Mugabe both in the party and in government.
She is there just as a figurehead and she is not involved in the inner politics and dynamics within the party,” Vava said.
VP Mujuru has on several occasions publicly demanded to know what happened to her husband, but the police are yet to release a report they said is complete.
Police chief Augustine Chihuri has since told the nation the report was sent to the courts for inquest consideration. However, sources said the report had been sent back to the police without elaborating why.