By Lance Guma
The lawyer representing the family of the late army general Solomon Mujuru has questioned how the state has resources to suppress protests using anti-riot water canons and yet the fire brigade had no water when they responded to the blaze that allegedly killed Mujuru at his farm last year.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa’s Behind the Headlines series, Thakor Kewada said “The fire brigade came but with a truck that wouldn’t have been able to carry any water to put the fire out so what the hell did the fire brigade arrive there for?”
“We have those other trucks that are used when there’s a riot, I don’t know what we call them but they spray water on people who are rioting, now we’ve got quite a few of those I am told, why wasn’t that used?” Kewada queried.
Kewada explained why the family thought exhuming Mujuru’s body would help in unravelling the mystery behind his suspicious death. He said a new autopsy had to be done as the Cuban pathologist who carried out the first one was not registered in Zimbabwe and did a ‘shoddy job’.
Provincial Magistrate Walter Chikwanha, who presided over the inquest into Mujuru’s death, ruled that there was no foul play. But according to Kewada the Mujuru family believe he was murdered. He said his clients “are highly suspicious that the general did not die in that fire,” and the workers at the farm know this.
Kewada said it was the belief of the family that Mujuru’s body “was planted in the house and the fire was started as a cover up” and that those who killed him were already in the house when he arrived that evening. Another theory is that Mujuru was ‘tranquillised’ using a dart gun when he was stepping out of his vehicle.
Several inconsistencies in the testimonies given during the inquest pointed to foul play, Kewada said. For example the fire started in two places, suggesting arson. But most suspicious was the fact that even though Mujuru’s body was charred to cinders, the curtains survived the inferno, suggesting it was initially a controlled fire which later spread. SW Radio Africa
To listen to the interview with the Mujuru family lawyer Thakor Kewada
To contact this journalist e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
To help maintain editorial independence Nehanda Radio relies on donations from readers like you. No donation is too small or too big. Help by donating to fund our operations.