The cable publicised by the whistleblower website Wikileaks throws fresh light into what was widely regarded as one Zimbabwe’s most powerful couples.
It also strengthens claims that the late general did not enjoy the tight security provided to a VIP.
There are reports that security was downgraded because the two were not living together. Mujuru, a powerful factional leader in Zanu PF died in a mysterious fire that gutted his farm house in Beatrice.
“Mujuru (Joice) is a member of the politburo and serves as the party secretary for women’s affairs. She is married to the army commander and has three children but is estranged from him,” says the 1988 WikiLeaks cable. “She is Zezuru and was born in 1955.”
The cable does not give reasons for the alleged estrangement. The cable gives credence to widespread rumours that the two were no longer staying together.
At the time of his death, Mujuru was reportedly permanently staying at his farm while the Vice-President spent most of her time in Harare.
They said Joice and other family members rarely visited the farm.
“He was always alone at the farm and this is why people raise eyebrows about their marriage,” said Zanu PF official who was close to Mujuru.
“This is why he spent most of his time with friends and even invited them for braais at this farm.”
Although the 1988 Wikileaks cable claims that the Mujurus were estranged, the two had a child, Kuzivakwashe, together a year later. She is now 22 years old.
They have daughters Kumbirai (33), Chipo (32) and Nyasha (28).
The two were always seen together at national functions such as the Heroes Acre, Independence celebrations, Mighty Warriors games and important family gatherings.
The Vice-President could not be reached for comment.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from the Minister of State in the Office of Vice President Mujuru, Sylvester Nguni were fruitless.
His secretary said Nguni was not in the office.
She took this reporter’s mobile number claiming that she would give it to Nguni to call back. Nguni had not called back by the time of going to press late on Saturday. The sources said had they been together, Mujuru would have had VIP protection and uninterrupted electricity supply to his farmhouse.
However, an official with Zesa last week said the authority does not have a VIP list for uninterrupted power supplies. “Zesa only provides uninterrupted supplies to strategic institutions of national interest such as airports and State House.”
The official said Mujuru’s farm house was also subject to load-shedding just like any other residential area. Police say they would not comment on the circumstances leading to the late general’s death until they conclude their investigations.