News / Africa

Zimbabwe Vice President Suspicious About Husband’s Death

Soldiers carry the coffin of former Zimbabwean army general Solomon Mujuru during his funeral at Heroes Acre in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 20, 2011
Soldiers carry the coffin of former Zimbabwean army general Solomon Mujuru during his funeral at Heroes Acre in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 20, 2011
Peta Thornycroft

Joice Mujuru, vice president of Zimbabwe, said she is suspicious about how her husband, Solomon Mujuru, died. Mujuru, former commander of the Zimbabwe security services, was burned to ashes at his farmhouse last week even though he could have easily escaped the fire.

Shortly after her husband’s remains were found at the farmhouse front door, Joice Mujuru spoke out and said people should not speculate about his death.

President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, also made a statement, saying that speculation about Mujuru’s death was out of line.

Probe into death's circumstances

Since then, police and Mujuru family members have been investigating, and so far, 23 people have been questioned about the fire at the farmhouse about 55 kilometers south of Harare.

In an interview Tuesday, broadcast on the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Joice Mujuru said she “will not rest” until she finds out how her husband, who she described as a “military man,” had burned to death. She said he could easily have escaped from his bedroom as the unbarred windows were large and low enough to climb through.

She said her young children regularly climbed through those windows when they stayed at the farm.

Mujuru said her husband's death had “raised many eyebrows.”

Solomon Mujuru seized the farm from a prosperous white farmer in 2002 at the height of Mugabe’s so-called land reform program.  Solomon was in the farmhouse alone when a fire broke out in the early morning hours of August 15.

Police reports say they removed his remains, which were reduced to ashes, from near the front door.

Mujuru's political actions


Solomon Mujuru was a member of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. But political analysts, including former members of ZANU-PF’s supreme decision-making body, the Politburo, say he regularly stood up to Mugabe.

Within the Politburo, he opposed colleagues who said repeatedly they wanted fresh elections this year. After disputed elections in 2008,  Mugabe was forced to accept a unity government with the longtime opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The Southern African Development Community, or SADC, which has mediated Zimbabwe's long-running political crisis, has said Zimbabwe is not ready for fresh elections this year.

Joice Mujuru is one of two vice presidents of Zimbabwe. The other vice president, John Nkomo, is ill and frail. Solomon Mujuru was seen by many political analysts as a possible power broker in Zimbabwe as Mugabe, who is 87, grows frail as well.

Several top ZANU-PF leaders have died in mysterious circumstances over the years, both before and after the country's 1980 independence.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs