General Mujuru died in an inferno at his farm in Beatrice in 2011 and four years on, his estate had not been registered. Mujuru had 20 children with different women and had two official wives, former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Faith Juta.
|Juta told Master of the High Court Eldard Mutasa yesterday that she married Mujuru in 1981 and they divorced in 1994 before remarrying in 2008.|
The former VP was summoned to the High Court yesterday for the edict meeting over Mujuru's estate and tempers flared as the children jostled for a stake in the late General's property. The meeting was convened to choose an executor of the estate.
Some of Mujuru's children expressed fear that ownership of some of the property left by their father might have been clandestinely changed to avoid execution, insinuating the former VP could have doctored ownership documents to deny other children of their inheritance.
Trouble started when Joice Mujuru's lawyer, Addington Chinake, indicated that there was a testamentary document regarding Mujuru's estate which was in the custody of prominent lawyer Thakor Kewada which might guide the execution.
This promptly triggered anger with some of Mujuru's children and their lawyers demanding to know why the document had been kept in secrecy for the past four years.
"Why was the document not produced all this time? That is nonsense!" said one of the children, prompting Chinake to threaten leaving the meeting in protest against the abusive words that were being hurled at him.
After protracted debate on the authenticity of the document, Mutasa ruled that it should be produced not later than next Friday and an independent executor would be assigned to deal with the estate if the document was not submitted on time.
"We are giving Kewada up to next Friday to avail the testamentary document. If it looks valid, then the Master will accept it," Mutasa said.
"Kewada should also give an explanation on why it took so long to mention the document. If we fail to get anything by Friday, then we will get an independent executor to deal with the estate."
The family said they would prefer a neutral executor as a way of avoiding bias from any of the family members.
Mutasa also said in the event that a neutral executor is appointed, he/she should also investigate and establish whether there was any clandestine change of ownership among Mujuru's vast properties and businesses.
If any proof would be unearthed pointing to covert change of property ownership, Mutasa said the executor would further investigate whether there was any criminal intent to that.
Mujuru had vast properties in Bindura and Harare. He was also a multiple farm owner and the children said they would want to establish how the proceeds had been used after the General's death.
Some claimed there had been underhand dealings to exclude them from enjoying benefits of their father's estate while they live in abject poverty.
Chinake, however, said paternity on some of the children would be disputed. - Newsday
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