Dr Joice Mujuru allegedly doctored deeds and nominally changed ownership of her late husband General Solomon Mujuru’s assets to prevent other bona fide beneficiaries – including an estimated 90 children – from accessing his vast estate, a family member has charged. It is alleged that the sacked Vice-President started tampering with the estate soon after Gen Mujuru’s death when she realised that his will left an estimated 70 percent of the estate to his children.
Gen Mujuru, who died in an accidental inferno at his house in August 2011, left behind many children – and a huge estate that has torched a fierce legal battle with potential heirs taking Dr Mujuru to court.
The courts last week heard that Dr Mujuru has been holding onto the will since 2011, prompting the judiciary to appoint an executor to assess the extent of the estate and to identify beneficiaries.
She was supposed to have lodged the will with the courts no more than 14 days after General Mujuru’s death.
Dr Mujuru did not answer her cellphone when The Sunday Mail tried to seek her comment yesterday.
Our investigations point to large multinational investments in mining, real estate, agriculture and tourism made by the late Army Commander.
His interests covered River Ranch Diamond Mine, Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company, Marange Diamonds, Trojan Mine, Kulmic Investments and Ruzira Properties.
He also held stakes in hotels and lodges in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique.
In addition, he is said to have owned farms, including Ruzambo in Beatrice where he left over 1 000 head of cattle and wildlife worth millions of United States dollars.
The investigations show that at the time of his death, Gen Mujuru had 100 hectares of prime land at 72 Lunar Road, Borrowdale, Harare. Independent valuators told this paper that this holding alone was worth up to US$60 million.
There are also houses and blocks of residential apartments in Harare, houses and business complexes in Bindura and Shamva, properties in Marondera, as well as a shopping complex in Warren Park D in the capital.
Family members also speak of unquantified investments in money markets. Barely a week after the general’s death, Dr Mujuru, it is alleged, sold over 600 prime Brahman beasts worth about US$800 000 that formed part of Gen Mujuru’s cattle stock.
A lot of these cattle were bought by the wife of a local telecommunications guru.
And it was this alleged sale of the beasts so soon after the death, family members say, that raised their suspicions that Dr Mujuru was not keen to abide by a will that they knew existed.
One of Gen Mujuru’s children accused Dr Mujuru of going on a systematic spree to change property ownership before execution of the estate.
“Furthermore, I have strong reason to believe that my father left behind more than 20 children. There could be as many as 90 of us from different women.
“Amai Mujuru has four daughters and no son, so this puts her at a disadvantage because the old man (Gen Mujuru) was a traditionalist who believed in keeping his wealth in the hands of the Mujurus through his sons instead of losing it to married daughters.
“Mai Mujuru saw the will, and we have heard that it leaves about 70 percent of the estate to his children, especially the males, and she took it upon herself to hide the will for four years. To make things worse, she is even demanding a paternity test for Gen Mujuru’s eldest son, Tendai even though she practically raised him in the household.
“It is Tendai who took her head-on. He wants the estate distributed because other children are living miserable lives.”
The Sunday Mail caught up with Tendai Mujuru – born to Gen Mujuru’s second wife, Ms Faith Juta – during the course of its investigations. Ms Juta and the general married in 1981 and separated in 1993, only to reconcile in 2008.
Tendai said they had now approached four people who were close to Gen Mujuru to compile a list of all assets. That process will start this week, he said.
“I can’t say much at the moment as it is still work in progress. Pretty soon, all the shenanigans of trying to hide properties and businesses will be revealed.”
Asked who was hiding properties, he said he had “no comment”.
Another son, who preferred anonymity, said: “My dad had huge investments in various businesses but one of his wives seems determined not to let us benefit from this. We don’t know. All we know is that she is being unfair and what she is doing, in our view and that of our lawyers, is illegal. “I have been told that about 70 percent of the estate is to be divided among the children. It looks like if this woman gets her way the children will get 70 percent of nothing.”