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Who killed Solomon Mujuru?

09 Apr 2015 at 09:39hrs | Views
The controversial and clearly un-procedural expulsion of Joice Mujuru from Zanu-PF last week lends credence to the widely held belief that her husband, Solomon, was assassinated by party insiders. It is not clear if the assassination happened with President Robert Mugabe's knowledge and/or blessing.

But it is clear that Solomon posed a big threat to both the Mnangagwa camp and Mugabe. The Mujuru faction played an active role in exposing the attempted Tsholotsho coup ahead of a crucial party congress in 2004. This foiled coup was led by Mnangagwa, who was subsequently relegated to the hazy cabinet portfolio of rural amenities in a reshuffle that followed the congress. Were it not for the fact that Mugabe still felt Mnangagwa was a strategic political ally with some dark secrets that could not be allowed to come into the open, we would have long forgotten about him by now.

Solomon was anxious to see the end of Mugabe's reign and preferred Simba Makoni to take over. At that time Joice was not a big factor in the Mujuru camp; in fact Solomon was convinced that she was not made of presidential stuff. The Mnangagwa faction, which currently is enjoying a good place in the political sun, has supported the theory that Solomon, together with his wife and others, wanted to wrest power from Mugabe as far back as 2004. In fact, they told us that Solomon was prepared to assassinate Mugabe if all else failed.

Zanu-PF has a notorious reputation of ridding the party of people who threaten its leaders. It will always be difficult to confirm, but numerous names have been bandied around as victims of this horrific tradition. These include Josiah Tongogara, Christopher Giwa, Edison Zvobgo, Herbert Ushewokunze, Armstrong Gunda and Josiah Tungamirai. It would therefore not be surprising that Solomon met the same fate as his erstwhile comrades-in-arms. It was evident that he believed Mugabe had overstayed his time in power and was doing his best to rid the party of what he considered to be a growing burden.

Rumour has it that, at one time, Solomon approached Mugabe at State House and, typical of him, told the president to his face that he must step down and make way for new blood to step up. Members of that party have died for lesser crimes.

Second, Solomon's death would always be a useful development for the Mnangagwa faction. It would remove the most powerful stumbling block to the camp's ambitions. Mugabe still gave the general a ready ear and he could demand an audience with the president any time. Even though the Mujuru faction preferred Simba Makoni to succeed Mugabe, the 2004 elevation of Joice to vice president brought in a new dimension to the succession issue.

It meant that Joice was likely to take over the baton from the Old Man, who actually implied at the 2004 congress that she should look beyond just deputising him – and "aim higher". Naturally, Solomon, despite reported marital tension with Joice, went on to give her a guiding hand in the years before he died.

Solomon had to be stopped, in order to stop Joice.

His assassination was therefore a calculated strategy that would culminate in the removal of Joice from power. It took years of planning and counter-planning and the climax of the plot was last year, ahead of the December congress. With Solomon gone, it was easy to deal with Joice and the Mnangagwa faction found a handy arsenal in the form of Grace Mugabe - who went on a whirlwind campaign to vilify and undermine Joice.

They were helped by the fact that Joice, despite enjoying much grassroots support, is a weak strategist. She would have needed Solomon's help in that regard, but he was no longer there. The plot yielded the first prize for the Mnangagwa faction. With Joice out, the Mujuru faction is in disarray and all this was possible because of the death of Solomon.

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Source - zimbabwean
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