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Stars that died 2010

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Solomon Mujuru, Zimbabwean military officer and politician, died from injuries from a fire at 62.

Solomon Mujuru , also known as Rex Nhongo, was a Zimbabwean military officer and politician who led Robert Mugabe's guerrilla forces during the Rhodesian Bush War. He was from the Zezuru clan. In post-independence Zimbabwe, he went on to become army chief before leaving government service in 1995. After leaving his post in the Zimbabwe National Army, he got into politics becoming Member of Parliament for Chikomba on a Zanu PF ticket. He was generally regarded as one of the most feared men in Zimbabwe. His wife, Joyce Mujuru, became Vice-President of Zimbabwe in 2004.

(May 1, 1949 – August 15, 2011)

Rhodesian Bush War

During the Rhodesian Bush War Mujuru, with Josiah Tongogara, led the ZANLA forces when Mugabe languished in jail for 10 years from 1964 to 1974. Robert Mugabe and Edgar Tekere with the help of chief Rekayi Tangwena their medium, had slipped into Mozambique after their immediate release from jail with the active support of Mujuru, who implored guerrillas, most of whom had never met Mugabe, to accept him as their leader. "As a result Mugabe owes (Solomon) Mujuru an eternal favour," said one Zanu-PF insider.[1] He was the only person believed to have had the stature to challenge Mr Mugabe during party meetings.[2]

Post-Independence

General Mujuru took over the command of the Zimbabwe National Army at independence in 1980, retiring 10 years later to go into business. Popular speculation is that he owned anywhere between six and sixteen farms[citation needed], including Alamein Farm, a productive and high-value operation illegally requisitioned as part of a "landgrab" from Guy Watson-Smith in 2001[3], as found by the Zimbabwe High Court and international courts. However, he remained an influential member of the ruling ZANU-PF politburo and central committees.
In the mid-1990s Mujuru clashed with Emmerson Mnangagwa, long considered Mugabe's favoured heir, when Solomon bid to buy into the multi-billion dollar Zimasco, a chrome mining and smelting concern in Zimbabwe's Midlands Province.
In 2001 Mujuru became the subject of the first legal action against any member of Mugabe's inner circle implicated in the illegal seizure of land and assets. His seizure of Alamein Farm was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe.[4][5]
Mujuru and his wife are among the ZANU-PF party members subject to personal sanctions imposed by the United States.

Kingmaker

According to newspaper reports Mujuru had been under house arrest and 24-hour surveillance since November 2007 for his role in attempting to oust Mugabe.[6][7] It was generally thought that Mujuru had a tremendous amount of influence on who would lead ZANU-PF and the country.

Death

Solomon Mujuru died in the early hours of the night of August 15th, 2011 in a fire at the homestead of Alamein Farm in Beatrice.[8] in circumstances that many commentators suggest were suspicious[9][10]
He had stopped at the Beatrice Hotel, 60km south-west of Harare, drank and chatted with patrons. He was having an early night before a long journey the next day. A maid and guard at the farm testified they heard gun shots two hours before flames were seen at his farmhouse. Mujuru left groceries and his cell phone in his car, something he had never done before. The general took 40 minutes to drive from the hotel to his farm, a journey of 10 minutes.[11]
An enquiry was opened. The lone policeman was asleep at the time, and after he awoke had no airtime and the radio was broken.
The firetruck when it arrived had no water.[2]
The coroner investigating Mujuru's death concluded he had died of smoke inhalation, but Mujuru's family does not have confidence in the coroner's findings. They plan to petition for approval to exhume Mujuru's remains and have them independently examined by a doctor of their own choice. Mujuru's remains are located at Heroes Acre, a memorial in Zimbabwe.[12]

 

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