Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe has expressed shock and sorrow at the unexpected death of one of the most trusted veteran freedom fighters and soldiers, Retired General Solomon Tapfumanei Mujuru.
The President visited One Commando Barracks in Harare where he conveyed his condolences to Vice President Joice Mujuru, wife to the late military strategist, who died when a fire engulfed his farm house in Beatrice last night.
Addressing scores of people among them government ministers, service chiefs, friends and relatives of the late General Mujuru, who converged at the barracks, Cde Mugabe said the death is shocking and devastating as the late was burnt beyond recognition.
“I have never seen a person die in such a horrific manner, we are all shocked,” said President Mugabe.
He said it is unfortunate that General Mujuru met his death through such an unfortunate circumstance yet one would have expected him to die long back by a bullet.
Cde Mugabe later chronicled General Mujuruâ€™s liberation history up to the time of independence and described him as one of the liberationâ€™s true commanders, saying the late never betrayed the revolution.
“I knew him in 1976 outside the country. He was one of those in the first line of command during the war of liberation and was so influential in the organisation of the struggle,” the President added.
The President also said the late General Mujuru, who was affectionately known as Cde Rex Nhongo and the late generals; Josiah Magama Tongogara, Vitalis Gava Zvinavashe and Josiah Tungamirai, were part of a wartime command which moulded thousands of young men and women who crossed the borders to Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania in a successful bid to dismantle the racist settler colonial dispensation.
In this moment of deep grief, Cde Mugabe requested the Mujuru family to derive some comfort from the great deeds of the late departed hero, which earned him profound respect and a special place in the history of Zimbabwe.