Solomon Mujuru: Untimely Death of A Power Broker

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The death of General Solomon Mujuru, one of Zimbabwe’s chief military strategists who played a significant role in the war leading to the southern African country’s independence in Britain in 1980 and a key strategist in the establishment of the security apparatus of post-independence Zimbabwe, has shaken the foundations of the country’s ruling Zanu PF party.

Slain General Solomon Mujuru (Right)

Although not actively involved in politics at the time of his death in fire that reportedly gutted his farmhouse outside the capital Harare at night, General Mujuru, husband to Vice President Joyce Mujuru, was a key power broker within the ruling party and continued stability will depend on how investigations into his death are handled.

In a continent where military generals have held sway over civilian administrations, Zimbabwe’s military top brass has shown a considerable lack of appetite for active politics, but an emerging trend of accidents that claim serving and retired senior military figures may create tension and pessimism in civilian politics. In many cases, transitions to military rule have been triggered by a lack of trust in civilian administrations, rather than greed for power among the military. It is crucial for governments to preserve military trust in civilian politics.