ZIMBABWEAN-BORN and Oxford University associate professor, Miles Tendi has launched a book which claims that the late army general, Solomon Mujuru, did not die in an ordinary fire hence there was a deliberate scene contamination by the State.
By Everson Mushava
Mujuru, an illustrious fighter of the 1970s Zimbabwe liberation war, died mysteriously in an inferno at his Beatrice farm in August 2011.
An inquest into the death of the first black national army commander of independent Zimbabwe concluded in March 2012 that there was no foul play in his death, despite widespread speculation that the general had been killed in a Zanu PF political power play.
But in a book titled, The Army & Politics in Zimbabwe: Mujuru, the Liberation Fighter & Kingmaker launched at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the United Kingdom on Monday, Tendi also explained that Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga never forgave the late general after allegations of an affair with his wife.
In videos of the launch posted on Twitter by Zimbabwe journalist Violet Gonda, Tendi said inconsistencies in the narrative of the death of Mujuru points to an internal job in Zanu PF. He said Mujuru was buried with no DNA evidence.
He queried why the VIP Protection Unit claimed ignorance on some things they had been hired to do in protecting the late liberation war supremo.
“The VIP Protection Unit could not explain why they only realised at 1:40am that the house was on fire, why they did not break the window at 1:40am to enter the farmhouse to rescue Mujuru,” Tendi questioned.
“The VIP Protection Unit stated that they did not know where Mujuru’s bed was located, yet the same VIP security had been providing security at Mujuru’s farm for a record duration of time, compared to past officers assigned there.”
He added: “Is it inconceivable that after three months of guarding the farmhouse, the security did not know, could not locate the massive bedroom where the person they were trying to protect slept?”
Mujuru, long seen as the kingmaker in Zanu PF after catapulting Mugabe to the Zanu PF leadership at the famous Mgagao Declaration of October 1975, was believed to be the power behind the ascendancy of his wife, former Vice-President Joyce Mujuru in 2004.
Many people believed his intention to elevate his wife to the post of Mugabe’s deputy was to block the rise of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the then powerful contender in the Zanu PF succession race.
Displaying pictures of the late general’s charred body in his presentation, Tendi queried the uneven way Mujuru’s body was burnt and why the State overlooked the contradictions in the statements by his security personnel.
He said the officers said they interacted with Mujuru before he met his death, but contradicted each other, with some saying he was sober while the others said he was drunk, but the contradictions were never interrogated in the inquest.
In some of the tweets, Gonda wrote: “Book reveals it was no ordinary fire that killed the general even though the State said no foul play. Tendi: there was deliberate scene contamination by the State.”
In another tweet, Gonda wrote: “Tendi says beef between General Chiwenga and Solomon Mujuru was because of an alleged sex scandal. Chiwenga never forgave Mujuru after finding his army jacket in his bedroom.”