Retired general Solomon Mujuru played an uncharacteristically public role at the funeral of Josiah Tungamirai when he died in August 2005, raising questions as to whether the two were allies.
According to the United States embassy, Tungamirai was a pivotal ally of the Mujuru clique in Masvingo.
His death left retired general Vitalis Zvinavashe, an ally of Emmerson Mnangagwa, as Zimbabwe’s most pre-eminent war hero and retired military officer.
Viewing cable 05HARARE1208, GOZ BURIES ANOTHER HERO
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
291510Z Aug 05
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001208
AF/S FOR B. NEULING
SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2015
SUBJECT: GOZ BURIES ANOTHER HERO
Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell for reasons 1.5 b/d
¶1. (U) Minister of Indigenization and Empowerment and
ZANU-PF Politburo member Josiah Tungamirai died on August 25
in a South African clinic reportedly of kidney failure. The
GOZ quickly named him a national hero and buried him on
August 28 at Hero,s Acre. According to local media
accounts, Tungamirai had been plagued by kidney problems for
at least the past five years ) he received a transplant from
his brother in 2000. Retired General Solomon Mujuru,
effective head of the dominant Zezuru ethnic sub-group
clique, played an uncharacteristically public role in
¶2. (C) The death of Zimbabwe’s respected first black Air
Force commander comes as a blow to the regime,s morale.
Tungamirai’s liberation war credentials, wide popularity, and
relative youth (57) made him a pivotal ally of the Mujuru
clique in historically divided Masvingo. His passing leaves
retired General Vitalis Zvinavashe ) an Emmerson Mnangagwa
ally also from Masvingo ) as the Zimbabwe,s most preeminent
war hero and retired military officer.