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General Mujuru’s will ‘disappears’, lawyer says wife not cooperating
27/03/2015 00:00:00
by Newsday
 
 
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MYSTERY surrounds the fate of the estate of late Zimbabwe National Army commander General Solomon Mujuru amid reports that the original copy of his will has disappeared while the estate continues to accrue millions of dollars in legal expenses.

It is also understood that his widow, former Vice President Joice Mujuru, was being uncooperative and persistently refused to provide family lawyer Thakor Kewada with a copy of the last testament to expedite registration of the estate in terms of the law.

Although family sources yesterday said indications were that the late General’s estate was in the red owing millions of dollars including $700,000 to Kewada of Scanlen and Holderness, the lawyer accused the ex-VP of being uncooperative and persistently refusing to provide him with a copy of the last will to facilitate registration of the estate.

He said a number of years ago, he drew up the last will and testament for General Mujuru which he signed and retained himself and on at least two occasions before Mujuru’s death, he saw the document at the former military commander’s Churchill Avenue offices.

“After the General’s death, I requested his widow, Dr Joice Mujuru, to let me have the original will to lodge with the Master’s Office and have the estate formally registered,” Kewada said.

“Dr Mujuru informed me that she was going through all the documents at the late General’s office and would let me have the will when she had located it.

“On a number of occasions (I asked) Dr Mujuru and her daughters to let me have the will. She said she was still going through the General’s papers and had not located it.”

Kewada, however, said about two years ago, one of the General’s daughters, Nyasha, told him that her mother had the will as she had gathered her four daughters together and read out the will at a “will reading meeting”.

“I requested Nyasha to inform her mother to let me have the will. The will has to this day, never been delivered to me despite several requests,” the lawyer said.

Kewada said if he had the original will he would have lodged it with the High Court in terms of the law.

He indicated that he has a duplicate original of the Solomon Mujuru Family Trust in which 13 beneficiaries were listed.



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Kewada said he was of the understanding that the late General on his advice to him instructed that he should have all his assets either donated or registered in the name of the Trust.

“. . . I advised Dr Mujuru that she and her four daughters should attend the Edict meeting and she should let the Master of the High Court have the Will of the Late General. Dr Mujuru replied to my text message stating ‘… You took a copy and we were supposed to meet…’ This presupposes Dr Mujuru has the Will,” Kewada said.

The top lawyer said over the past few years, he informed Mujuru and her daughters that he would not act for them if he was appointed as executor and would simply attend to winding up the estate.

Kewada, on September 28 2012, wrote to Mujuru’s widow, VP Mujuru, asking her to pay up an undisclosed amount of money for legal services rendered during the inquest into the death of her husband.

According to the letter, the ex-VP appeared reluctant to pay for the services, prompting Kewada to write a strongly-worded letter saying: “Please do not place Scanlen & Holderness in a position where they will be forced to take appropriate action to recover the fee.

“This will be extremely embarrassing for you and the publicity it will attract will not be beneficial to you. So please Joice I beg you to effect payment immediately.”

On June 11 2013, Mujuru’s eldest daughter Kumbirai also wrote to several local banks seeking to find out if they had had any dealings with her late father, claiming that some information regarding his estate had been destroyed in the inferno in which he was killed at his Beatrice farm in 2011.

Mujuru’s estate has not been registered almost four years after his death. The Deceased Estates Act stipulates that registration must take place within 14 days of the date of death.

Master of the High Court Eldard Mutasa last Friday ordered Kewada to produce Mujuru’s will. He was speaking during an edict meeting attended by family members including the former Vice-President.

But Kewada in a letter dated March 25 2015 wrote to Mutasa indicating that he did not have the original will.

The former VP and another woman, Faith Juta, who is claiming to be the late General’s second legitimate wife, as well as a total of 20 children from different women were claiming a stake in the Mujuru estate.

Some of Mujuru’s children — particularly Bianca and Tendai — expressed suspicion that ownership of the late General’s properties could have been secretly changed to deny them the right to inheritance.

On Friday, the Master of the High Court appointed Stern Mufara as the executor of the estate and ordered all the interested parties to give him maximum co-operation.


 
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