Special Investigations Unit (SIU) The late General Solomon Mujuru, could have become Zimbabwe’s Vice President or easily facilitated for her wife ousted former VP, Joice Mujuru, to takeover power from President Robert Mugabe much earlier had he not been tricked into prematurely retiring his very powerful post as the country’s first army commander in 1992, The Telescope News, has recently
Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
The late General Solomon Mujuru, could have become Zimbabwe’s Vice President or easily facilitated for her wife ousted former VP, Joice Mujuru, to takeover power from President Robert Mugabe much earlier had he not been tricked into prematurely retiring his very powerful post as the country’s first army commander in 1992, The Telescope News, has recently been told.
New revelations from a business associate of the decorated general, with interests in mining and telecommunications in the country last month suggests that Mujuru, although having played a key role during the liberation struggle against British colonial rule, and also being instrumental in Mugabe’s subsequent rise to prime minister in April 1980, shadowy elements of local and hired foreign intelligence operatives allegedly kept him under “life surveillance”, amid claims of panic by some top Zanu PF leaders including Mugabe that Mujuru could potentially plot a military putsch, and change the newly Independent country’s political leadership due to his perceived close working relations with the British military establishment, which raised suspicion and nervousness soon after Independence.
The army general led the integration of guerrilla fighters into a unified army, with the expertise of British Army trainers (the British Military Advisory and Training Team, BMATT), when the country was born.
Mugabe’s intelligence machinery, then led by newly promoted vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was State Security minister had already unearthed details of a coup linked to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government, which was being planned by former Rhodesian commander, Peter Walls, who wrote to Thatcher requesting a green-light when it became clear that Prime Minister-designate Mugabe was headed for victory in the historic 1980 elections. Mnangagwa in 2013 disclosed for the first time details of the coup in the State media, and how he made sure Walls failed to implement his plan, which Downing Street refused to support.
“It is because of this precedent that some Zanu PF leaders aligned to Mugabe (names supplied), grew fearful of Mujuru because the likes of Walls had gone into exile in South Africa, after a private plane was dispatched to Kariba to fly him out, to evade possible arrest from Mugabe, but he could still cause trouble from the other side of the Limpopo because some Rhodesians did not recognize newly Independent Zimbabwe,” said the business associate who is living outside Zimbabwe for personal safety and political reasons.
“They thought that Mujuru will be corrupted and offered the pathway to power, by exiled Rhodesians and the British government in particular, to topple Mugabe who they saw as a Marxist dictator when he started talking about land reform and introduced the 1992 Land Acquisition Act, meant to speed up the land reform process. At that very time Rex Nhongo (Solomon Mujuru’s ‘Nom De Guerre’) was enticed to leave the army and offered a feel of politics in parliament by Mugabe, making sure he got elected as legislator for Chikomba constituency. This was his blunder because he was a born soldier, who lost a lot of military and political power the moment he left the military.”
“It was a well-thought out plan because Mujuru was not very educated and saw no reason to sit around in parliament, therefore decided to venture into business. However the damage was done because he no longer had enough political control, to influence Mugabe and Zanu PF directly, compared to his time as army commander, because he was heading crucial security organs. Had he remained in the military, Mujuru could have been the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, which is one of the most powerful positions in the the country after the president’s office.”
The business executive also brought to light sensitive disclosures alleging that, General Mujuru was tipped to become president or vice president before the Government of National Unity (GNU) wind up, in a deal that could have seen MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai remaining as prime minister with fewer powers, as a contingency means to bring an end to Mugabe’s rule, which was being blamed by moderates in Zanu PF and the opposition alike for fomenting economic chaos and instability.
Under the deal, Mujuru had proposed that a long-time serving Zanu PF heavy-weight who has since made it into the Zanu PF presidium becomes president, while he did not mind being the first vice president or vice versa. The Telescope News, also established that a new coalition government would have ensued for another extended life span of four years, before elections being called in 2016.
Part 2 & Part 3 of this story continues on 16 and 23 January 2015 respectively.