General Solomon Mujuru’s will is nowhere to be found, forcing his long-forgotten son Tendayi Mujuru to seek legal action after the late national hero’s widow and former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru failed to register his estate as required by law.
It is believed that Gen Mujuru, who died on August 16 2011, was among the richest Zimbabweans with business interests cutting across various sectors of the economy. According to the Administration of Estates Act Chapter 601 Section 5, the estate should have been registered within 14 days of Gen Mujuru’s death.
Dr Mujuru was supposed to have registered the estate in her capacity as the closest person to the deceased although the law does not bar intended beneficiaries from doing so.
Failure to register a will within the stipulated time attracts a 30-day imprisonment, a fine or both. Investigations by The Herald reveal that a war for Gen Mujuru’s estate is already underway and could explode if not managed properly.
Through his lawyers, Tendayi has written to Dr Mujuru demanding that she releases Gen Mujuru’s will if she is in possession of the document.
In a letter dated December 8, 2014 titled “Estate late Solomon Tapfumaneyi Ruzambu Mujuru”, the lawyers wrote: “We refer to the above matter and advise that we act on behalf of Mr Tendayi Mujuru, kindly note our interest.
“Our client is a biological child to the late Solomon Mujuru. Our client has registered the estate of the late Solomon Mujuru under DR19/19/14. The estate had not been registered despite the time lapse since death.
“We have been instructed to request from you a copy of the will of the late Solomon Mujuru if same is in your custody.
“Our instructions are that you may have a copy and if you could furnish it we would be most obliged. The will is necessary for estate administration. We look forward to your response.”
Tendayi’s lawyers threatened to convene a meeting and appoint an executor if Dr Mujuru does not co-operate.
“If we do not hear from you within seven days then our client will proceed to call for an edict meeting for the appointment of an executor.” The Office of the Master of the High Court wrote to Tendayi on December 20, 2014 demanding Gen Mujuru’s will to enable it to act.
“Reference is made to your recent registration of this estate.
“To enable me to proceed with the administration of the same, I hereby request that you forward the deceased’s original will if it is in your possession.
“If there is no will, you are requested to attend to payment to edict meeting fees US$30 to enable me to convene an edict meeting for the appointment of an executor,” read the letter.
An edict meeting is convened to appoint an executor. An executor is an administrator of the deceased’s will.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, High Court Master Mr Eldard Mutasa said his office had not been served with Gen Mujuru’s will.
“We are yet to receive any will but we have written to anyone in possession of the will, if it is there, to come forward,” he said.
He urged Zimbabweans to entrust their wills with his office.
The Office of the High Court Master charges a dollar to keep a will for the rest of one’s life.
Entrusting a will with the Office of the Master of the High Court comes with many advantages as leaving the document with relatives or legal practitioners has often caused problems in the administration of an estate.
Relatives or lawyers can easily be manipulated by potential beneficiaries and disadvantage others.