Retired Zimbabwe Army Chief Dies In Fire

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HARARE, Zimbabwe, Aug. 16 (UPI) — An electrical fire has claimed the lives of former Zimbabwe army chief Solomon Mujuru and his girlfriend, an official said.

Air Marshall Henry Muchena confirmed to The Zimbabwean that Mujuru, 62, died in a fire that broke out at his Beatrice Farm home.

The name of his girlfriend was not immediately available.

Mujuru spearheaded guerrilla forces during Zimbabwe’s 1970s war of independence that ended white minority rule.

He is also said to have played a key role in President Robert Mugabe’s rise to the top of the Zanu Party.

After leaving the army, Mujuru served as a member of Parliament for the northeastern Chikomba constituency, ZimOnline reported.

The former army chief was viewed as belonging to the more pragmatic and moderate wing of Mugabe’s party.

Many analysts believe his group, if it ever won control, was likely to agree to work with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

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