FORMER Vice President Joice Mujuru says she believes her late husband Solomon Mujuru, who died in an inferno in August 2011, was shot first before his house was set alight.
“There was a blue, blue flame, almost 1 and a half to 2 meters high, not normal at all. It seemed to me there was some kind of accelerant,” she described the inferno in an interview with the Sunday Times (UK) newspaper. A local white farmer who rushed to the scene said he believed a white phosphorus grenade was used to burn the body.
“I can’t say who did it, but they know the people in power. It will come out,” said Mujuru.
Asked if she thought President Robert Mugabe was involved, she simply “pursed” her lips, according to the report.
Despite the suspicious death of her husband, Mujuru remained in government only to be fired three years down the line on accusations of plotting an insurrection against Mugabe, whom she looked upon as a “father”.
“It was the shock of my life,” she said of her sacking in December 2014.
Ahead of her sacking, Mujuru says, she approached Mugabe one day after a cabinet meeting to find out if he really believed the reports that she wanted to kill him. “I am hearing it from the ministry of intelligence,” Mugabe reportedly answered her.
“Father, If you are my shed and protecting me from the sun, how can I take an axe and destroy that shed? I would be a mad person. I am only banking on you to look after me,” she recalls telling Mugabe before she left the meeting in “fear”
“My mouth was completely dry,” she said.
According to the report, that fear may not have left her up to now as she never referred to Mugabe by his name during the interview, preferring to call him “He” “as if he was a deity”.
But she had no kind words for her former boss still, referring to him as a “backward” “liar”.
She said, “I am a Christian and a member of the salvation army. I have never used magic. A head of state using his platform to lie and believing stories about frogs being kept in a calabash and if one dies dies then he will die. I said to myself what a backward man.”
Mujuru went on to reveal how an aged Mugabe depended on her when he was tired during cabinet meetings.
“He would speak for 15 minutes and then nod off. I would then chair the meeting with everyone ignoring the fact that he was asleep,” she said.
Mujuru is not the first to reveal this trend as former industry minister, Welshman Ncube, also said, a few years ago, that Mugabe routinely slept during cabinet meetings. According to Ncube, when that moment came, Mugabe’s entire body tended to “collapse”.
On Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who led a vicious campaign against her, Mujuru says the First Lady “saw me as a threat”. “Her (Grace) power only lasts as long as he (Mugabe) is there,” said Mujuru.
According to Mujuru, who recently registered her People First party, dramatic events in Zanu PF and in the country could be an indicator that Mugabe’s rule was coming to “an end”.
She said, “I think this is pointing to an end. He no longer has the energy to tell them to stop, and no one listens to him. He has no respect now-from anybody. It’s painful.”
Mugabe was, last Friday, forced to take to the national TV to call for calm and rebuke his ministers who have been divided into warring factions over the succession issue.
Mujuru describes herself as a grandmother and a farmer. She has ten grandchildren and 135, 000 chicken which she keeps at her farm she got during Mugabe’s land grab exercise.
She, however, believes that Mugabe owed a lot to the Mujurus. She said: “My husband used to risk his life to go and talk to [Mugabe]… then come back and talk to other commanders to accept him. Mugabe owed a lot to him and the family.”