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\nA few months ago, the lunatic fringe that calls itself the private media went into overdrive in trying to paint Zanu-PF as an evil and heartless organisation for daring to strip Dr Joice Mujuru of the State Vice-Presidency and her position in the party. Many a poorly-informed opinion piece badly masquerading as a genuine news story was put out on the front pages of the lunatic fringe’s publications saying Zanu-PF was persecuting a widow.

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The idea was to create sympathy around Dr Mujuru stemming from a very tragic circumstance that saw General Solomon Mujuru’s remains interred at the National Heroes Acre in a very moving ceremony overseen by President Mugabe.

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Yes, Dr Mujuru is a widow. There are many widows in Zimbabwe, and we are all sensitive to their situation.
\nA majority of Zimbabweans profess to adhere to one or another form of Christianity.

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The Bible tells us somewhere in Exodus Chapter 22 that: “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry.”

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Many Zimbabweans are Muslims. According to one hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had this to say: “The one who looks after and works for a widow and for a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s cause.”

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Further, our native wisdom tells us that a widow is the responsibility of the family and the community. Perhaps it takes the worst kind of person to mistreat a widow.

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And the worst form of abusing a widow is taking her widowhood as a blunt political tool with which to try and assault the sensibilities of a nation that knows from practical experience what true oppression is.

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That was truly an ugly display by the lunatic fringe, and sadly we expect no less from their desperate pens. But what do they say now about the revelations that have been coming out at the country’s courts over the past week concerning Dr Mujuru and the will General Mujuru is said to have left behind?

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It seems Dr Mujuru is in possession of that will, and that if she is, then she is blatant violation of Zimbabwe’s laws — laws that were actually put in place in part to protect widows and orphans.

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Gen Mujuru, it is well-known, had many children: the exact number is for the estate executor and the courts to determine and approve as heirs.
\nShould these children be disenfranchised just because of sympathy for a widow?

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Apart from this being a legal issue, it is also a moral question that the lunatic fringe would do well to now busy themselves with seeing as they were so filled with empathy for Dr Mujuru just a few months ago.

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But ethics and morality are perhaps Greek to the lunatic fringe.
\nSo let’s look at the letter of the law, since its spirit could well be beyond them.

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Section 23(1)b of the Wills Act is very un-ambivalent and forthright on the matter of playing around with a person’s last will and testament.
\nA will should be availed for execution within 14 days of death being ascertained.

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It is now nearly three years since that will has been beyond the doors of our hallowed courts.
\nMaybe somewhere in the interim the power of the Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe came into play and cowed people into not taking Dr Mujuru to task about this matter.

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Now that even her own lawyers have said they have failed to get her to avail Gen Mujuru’s final testament and will, who shall stand up and do the right thing in this matter?

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At the end of the day, this is not about Dr Mujuru.
\nThis is about the many people who we read and hear about out there who are disenfranchised because the law is not protecting them.
\nAt some point we have all come across cases of heirs — including widows and children — not benefiting from what their parents left them.

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If Zimbabweans sincerely believe in protecting the vulnerable against powerful, and seemingly powerful, interests, then we should all stand up and see to it that the letter and the spirit of the law are held sacrosanct.

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That is the least we can do for all the widows, orphans and other vulnerable people in our society.