Fidelis Munyoro Harare Bureau—
The Master of the High Court, Eldard Mutasa, has given the late General Solomon Mujuru’s lawyers five days to submit a will the late veteran politician and national hero left in their possession. It emerged in a stormy edict meeting yesterday that Gen Mujuru left a will in which he named his lawyer, Thekor Kewada of Scanlen and Holderness, as the executor of his estate.
Former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s lawyer Addington Chinake, yesterday told the meeting that his client’s husband left a will.
This was after children, the majority born out of wedlock, through their lawyers had unanimously moved for the appointment of an independent executor of Gen Mujuru’s multi-billion estate.
Gen Mujuru had four children with ex-VP Mujuru.
It also emerged during the meeting that Gen Mujuru was a polygamist, married to Faith Mujuru nee Juta, meaning there are two surviving spouses.
Juta is mother to Tendai who is leading the fight to ensure that all Gen Mujuru’s children including those he adopted receive their share of the estate.
She married Gen Mujuru on March 18, 1981 under the customary law and divorced him in 1993. The couple, she said, reconciled in 2008 at the insistence of the Mujuru family.
At the time of Mujuru’s death, she said, she was staying at the family’s Ruwa Farm.
“We were staying as husband and wife until his death. It’s an open secret. I have witnesses including Gen Mujuru’s eldest daughter Maidei here present,” she said.
Thirteen children had by yesterday been accepted to be Gen Mujuru’s on the basis of their birth certificates bearing the name of the national hero as the biological father. But all in all the late general had around 20 children with the other seven likely to be identified soon.
Tendai told the meeting that the children were coming and would ensure that they were located. He hinted that all in all they could be more than 20.
“The deceased left a testamentary writing in that he approached Thekor Kewada a senior partner at Scanlen and Holderness as the executor,” said Chinake.
The announcement drew ire from the children who questioned why it took Mujuru four years to notify the Master of the High Court of the existence of the document.
“Why are we here when there is such a document? The purpose of this meeting is to choose the executor and why wasting our time?” queried a lawyer representing one of the children Tendai.
Other children joined in and started accusing Chinake of injustice and unfairness.
“My duty is simply to inform this meeting of what we know about this estate just like what everyone is doing here,” said Chinake.
But the children continued with their attacks on the lawyer, who then threatened to leave the meeting.
“May I be excused,” said Chinake, leaving his chair to walk out of the meeting.
He was stopped by the Master Mutasa who insisted that he should not abandon the proceedings.
“But I can’t allow myself to be abused by these children. I’ve done my part in giving vital information needed in this matter,” said Chinake.
After hearing submissions from all the parties, a resolution on the way forward was made.
“It’s ordered that Kewada submit to the office of the Master, a testamentary writing left by Gen Mujuru by Friday next week. The latest being at 4pm,” said Mutasa.
“If he fails then the court will proceed to choose an independent executor of the estate.”
Mutasa said if the alleged will was found to be valid it would be accepted.
Once he receives the will, Mutasa said the children would be shown the document and be given the platform to challenge it if they so wish.
The children requested the Master to treat the matter with urgency arguing that most of the children were living in abject poverty following their father’s death.
Turning to the assets, the children said their father had properties strewn around Harare, Bindura, and Sadza.
Some of the major properties are houses in Borrowdale, Bindura, a shopping complex in Warren Park D, Trojan Mine, River Ranch Mine, Ruzambo Farm in Beatrice, Kulmic Investments and other various movable and immovable properties.
The children hinted that after the death of their father former VP Mujuru initiated the processes of transferring some of the properties.
They asked the Master how he was going to deal with such conduct.
“That is the job of the executor to carry out investigation on everything that had been said in this meeting,” said Mutasa.
“If there is anything criminal it will be dealt with accordingly. All that will come out during the executor’s investigations.”
On the paternity issue, Chinake informed the meeting that it was a matter for the courts.
Gen Mujuru died in an inferno at his Ruzambo Farm in Beatrice in 2011 and was declared a national hero.
His estate is believed to run into billions of dollars.