By Benjamin Chitate
The police report of the investigation into the death of Christpowers Maisiri, as announced by their National Spokesperson, Charity Charamba, raises eyebrows, and points to a concerted effort by the police, under pressure from Zanu PF, to obstruct the course of justice.
Charamba said their investigations had not established any evidence the fire was caused by a petrol bomb attack. In the first place, other methods other than a bomb attack could have been used to set the grass thatched hut on fire, so the fact that it was not a bomb used to set the house on fire does not rule out foul play.
Charamba goes on to say that “there is high probability that ammonium nitrate and tobacco chemicals exploded during the fire”, and that should be expected because the chemicals reacted to the heat caused by the fire which had already started and exploded. Again, that piece of evidence does not rule out foul play.
Charamba reports that a paraffin lamp was recovered close to bags of fertilizer and tobacco chemicals in the gutted thatched hut. Again that can be expected because in the rural areas, many people use paraffin lamps to light up their place. I wonder if the police investigating the case asked the surviving children if the lamp was left on.
Interestingly, the father of the late Christpowers reported that he had been threatened with death for wanting to contest against Didymus Mutasa by Zanu PF officials a few days before the fire gutted the hut. Wasn’t there reason for police to suspect foul play there?
Names of suspects were given, and probably these names include people who had made these threats to Shepherd Maisiri. These people were never questioned.
Given recorded evidence that Zanu PF senior officials have threatened to kill MDC supporters and sympathizers in the rural areas, there was every reason to suspect foul play, and a police force which has real interest in protecting the people should at least have charged the persons who made threats to Shepherd Maisiri.
These people still need to be arrested, and questioned why they made such threats and charged accordingly. And to prove beyond down that there is foul play in this case; Central Intelligence officials drive to the homestead in a car with no number plates. This certainly raises eyebrows.
Certainly, there were people at the funeral wake who witnessed this, but police investigating the case never dwelt on this development. I am still asking why? Why? Why? Why? These people drove to the homestead in a car with no registration numbers, knowing that people who abducted MDC supporters in the run-up to the 2008 presidential run-off used similar tactics.
To make matters worse, Didymus Mutasa lies that Maisiri is a member of Zanu PF, when it is expected that as an aspiring candidate for the constituency in elections that should take place this year; he should also have been investigating who is likely to be challenging him – that is natural for any politician.
So Mutasa already knew from intelligence sources; who from the MDC-T primary elections process was likely to contest against him in the coming election.
For him to turn around and say Maisiri is a Zanu PF member and ‘his friend’ proves beyond reasonable doubt that he is trying to absolve himself from a crime that he either has a hand in, or which was committed by some of his die hard supporters who are trying to eliminate his rivals.
That he chose to lie that way shows that Mutasa is aware. The arsonists probably communicated with him and told him that they had done a job for him after setting the hut on fire in which Christpowers was sleeping.
It is obvious the police did not do their job well, either because of incompetence, or because they were under instruction not to expose Didymus Mutasa.
Not being a legal expert and not being familiar with human rights processes that can be pursued to do justice for the late Christpowers, I will it to those who are appropriately placed to do their part to ensure justice is done.
He may have been disabled, he may have been a poor boy, born to poor parents, but he was a human being, and every human being deserves justice, even in their death.
Benjamin Chitate, New Zealand