By Baba Jukwa
What truly caused the death of Retired General Solomon Mujuru remains an issue of important national inquiry. Some of us who are in the know find it difficult to suppress that information and it is high time the truth has to come out.
Mujuru sought to have peace with his nemesis in the party, Emmerson Mnangagwa, soon before his death. He phoned Mnangagwa to find out whether they could have a meeting to discuss various ways to resolve the succession dilemma in the party as President Robert Mugabe was resisting exit from the throne.
Mujuru pointed to Mnangagwa that people were spreading rumours that the two of them were sworn enemies and that they were responsible for dragging the party into extinction.
The General requested whether Mnangagwa would agree to a face-to-face meeting to discuss this and he agreed. The two met at Mnangagwa’s Tynwald Farm on the western side of Harare.
Mujuru shared with him that the only way to save the party was for both of them to go to Mugabe and tell him to step down during the period of the inclusive government and leave one of them as the leader of the party and the country.
Mujuru suggested that he was comfortable if either one of them became President and the other became First Vice President. He told Mnangagwa that Amai Mujuru would step down as he could influence her.
The General even said that the two of them could revive the fortunes of the party to 1980 level. He pointed out that the President was now a liability both to the party and the country.
The two agreed that this was the route to go. They planned to have a meeting with Mugabe to tell him their thoughts. Mujuru said he was prepared to present the message as he had nothing to fear from sharing his thoughts about how the party and the country could move forward. Unbeknown to Mujuru, soon after the meeting Mnangagwa phoned and requested an urgent meeting with Mugabe.
Mnangagwa told the President that he had an urgent security issue to discuss with him. At that meeting he briefed the President about his meeting with the General and how they plotted to have him step down.
He told the President everything they planned and their need for a meeting with him. Mugabe and Mnangagwa then planned to grant the meeting immediately, listen to Mujuru and plan how to deal with him thereafter.
The meeting was held and, as agreed, Mujuru explained to the President the state of the party and the country. He told Mugabe that the legacy of the liberation struggle was being tarnished and warned him that if he continued in defiance, the party and the nation would be rubble.
They told Mugabe that he had had his time and it was wise for him to leave while there were still positive memories about him. Mujuru believed that he could still influence the old man to call it a day as he was the one who assisted Mugabe to be the leader of ZANU during the tumultuous period of the liberation struggle when several commanders refused his leadership of the ZANLA forces.
But the President was already angry about the role the General had played in encouraging Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa to rebel against him. He was also aware that the General had a huge hand in the disinformation trail which the Central Intelligence Organization produced up to the run-off the March 2008 elections.
During that time the Director-General of the CIO Happyton Bonyongwe was leading a disinformation crusade, telling Mugabe that everything was rosy, while underground some intelligence officers ground campaigning for Makoni.
Bonyongwe owed Mujuru because he was appointed to the position of Director General (CIO) over the head of his then boss, Rtd Brigadier General Elisha Muzonzini, who was unceremoniously shuffled to Kenya as Ambassador.
Mnangagwa was anxious for revenge against Mujuru, who had plotted his humiliation when he failed to become Vice President of the party and the country. Mugabe is an avid student and follower of the Machiavellian theorem: that you must be as cunning as a fox.
When you commit the mission it must be done in a manner that does not show suspicion and after carrying out the elimination of undesirable elements around you, you must speak glowingly of that person at his funeral. This is exactly what Mugabe and Mnangagwa did.
The General was told that they would conclude the matter as soon as the President returned from the SADC Luanda Summit.
While he was there, a senior army general was tasked with working with the CIO through a protégé of Menard Muzariri (former deputy DG of the CIO) – who brought in his three Lebanese assassins based in South Africa to accomplish the mission to eliminate the General. The day after their arrival at the Summit, news of the General’s death was all over the world. – Asijiki, Ndatenda, Baba Jukwa (The Zimbabwean)