Mugabe feared Rex more than any other ZANU PF member… the only way of dealing with him was to eliminate him

Charles Mabhena

The concept did not make any logical sense, listening to so many versions of sons and daughters of the soil who took it upon their shoulders, wage a protracted war that brought Zimbabwe back from the British rule, among the women of substance to ever come out of the struggle, was Teurai Ropa- Joice Mujuru.

She was credited of having had downed an enemy helicopter, only to have this well publicised credit recalled when she fell from President Robert Mugabe’s grace. ZANU PF now claims it never happened; that it was all but a lie, meant to pluck up the courage of the girl child and urge her to take up the fighting spirit. What type of storytelling is that? Can what happened be undone ‘you cannot have your cake and eat it.’ The history seems to be distorted, and the concept did not make any sense for many of us, but for politicians it does.

Mugabe adopted Joice Mujuru at a tender age during the war, she can testify, took her as if she were his own daughter (Bona Mugabe now Mrs Chikore). Mujuru has on various occasions praised Mugabe for that. As if to cement that upon attaining independence the President, who was Prime Minister then gave her various ministerial tasks raising her until to the position of the Vice President in 2004, only to dramatically remove her ten years down the line. Her crime; she was plotting Mugabe’s downfall?

It has since come to light that all that was done to keep Solomon Mujuru whose war name was Rex Nhongo, at close range while a grand plan to eliminate him is put in place. Letting him amass all the wealth through hook and crook so that he stays away from making political demands.

It is also rumoured that Mugabe feared Solomon to the extent that he (Rex) alone could tell Mugabe point-blank when he messes up. One of the main reasons why Mugabe continued to listen to Rex was that he owed him a big deal for making sure that Mugabe stays at the helm of the liberation movement. Mujuru had a hand in making sure that Mugabe took leadership even at the Geneva Conference in 1976. According to Wifred Mhanda or Dzinashe Machingura’s Dzino ‘memories of a freedom fighter’ Mujuru (Solomon) played a pivotal role during internal rebellions that threatened Mugabe, whom some thought was not a good leader. Mhanda believed there was a secret agreement between Mugabe and Mujuru, probably he was promised the higher post (VP).

As if to support Mhanda’s guess it has come out just as the doctor had prescribed, that indeed the two had an agreement. A top CIO member has opened up to that Mujuru was promised a top post in Mugabe’s government, but Mugabe has become reluctant in honouring his promise as he feared if Mujuru can challenge him openly, what more could he do if made Vice President? He says to keep him silent; Mugabe propped up Joice Rex’s wife to the position of a VP as a measure to keep him under checks, until he finds a lasting solution to get rid of him.

“Of late Mujuru Rex had been giving Mugabe a hard time. He was demanding more from him on what they had agreed on making him, VP, That is when Mugabe found out that making Joice VP could not silence Rex, hence the elimination,” says the intelligence member who spoke strongly on anonymity.

He adds that Rex had become a thorn in Mugabe’s flesh. As soon as he got rid of Rex, Joice’s position as VP was no longer relevant, hence her subsequent dumping under false allegations.

He adds that Mugabe had believed that by letting Rex amass wealth and do as he pleases, and making his wife the VP, Rex would not demand anything, only to see how wrong he was.

The treasonous allegations against Joice were that she wanted to kill Mugabe so that she takes control of the party and country. Mugabe went as far as saying Joice was even consulting witch doctors in the process.

Mujuru vehemently denied the allegations. Some analysts also stood by her saying if she indeed was guilty of that Mugabe as he is known, could have sent her to jail. They say Mugabe has a history of being a forgiver who doesn’t forget, as such he would have utilised Mujuru’s guilty to settle the scores.

Ambassador Aggripa Mutambara, who is now a senior official at Zim PF once told a gathering that Mugabe fabricated lies against Joice so that he can get rid of her. The former top official, and Brigadier General said having had worked with President Mugabe for so many years and in different senior capacities knows the nonagerian leader and his temperament very well.

“If she was corrupt, a killer as alleged, he should have reported her to the police, lack of such action shows that the crimes she was said to be guilt of were all fabricated,” he said.

A political scientist based in Mashonaland Central Elder Mabhunu says Mugabe feared Rex more than any other ZANU PF member, because of his military intelligence, to the extent that the only way of dealing with him was to eliminate him. “The elevation of Joice was part of the plan to find a way to deal with the feared former commander (Rex),” he says.