New evidence suggests Mujuru fire not an accident
By Lance Guma and Simon Muchemwa
Harare- Day six of the official inquest into the death of retired army general Solomon Mujuru produced stunning evidence, as it was revealed that his remains were discovered in a blue flame that ‘took time’ to extinguish.
The 67 year old army general, regarded as one of the key political power brokers in ZANU PF, died last August after his house caught fire at night and the roof collapsed on him. His body was found burnt beyond recognition.
An inquest to establish the cause of death started last week Monday to Friday at the Harare Magistrates Court and resumed again on Tuesday.
Cletwell Garisai, a police officer who was on duty at Beatrice Police Station told the court on Tuesday that when his superior, Officer in Charge Simon Dube pointed to Mujuru’s remains in the mini lounge, they were in ‘blue flames’.
This would appear to contradict state evidence at the start of the inquest claiming that no traces of flammable liquids or powder were discovered at the Mujuru house. A blue flame can be associated with the presence of a highly flammable substance and would raise suspicion this was poured on his body.
Vice President Joice Mujuru could not hide her anger and exclaimed openly in court following the testimony by Garisai, the police officer on duty on the night Mujuru died. He said that it took the effort of more than 20 people to put out the flames which were concentrated on both sides of Mujuru’s abdominal area.
Mujuru’s body was facing downwards with hands folded and covering the face. The hands remained intact despite the fact that the skin on the head was burnt out. The suspicion is that his body might have been moved around.
Garisai further indicated that when Mujuru’s remains were turned upwards he discovered that there was a huge hole on the right hand side of the abdomen although there was still some flesh on the chest and the left side of the abdomen.
Garisai’s evidence was more or less similar to his superior’s Simon Dube, who led the fire fighting exercise until CID Homicide headed by Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge arrived at 5:00am.
Soon after the arrival of Makedenge, senior military personnel and ZANU PF ministers arrived, prompting former Health Minister David Parirenyatwa and Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi to run the show.
Fears by the Mujuru family that evidence could have been tampered with at the scene were buttressed by Officer In Charge, Dube, who said it was difficult to tell who was running the show, with Deputy Commissioner General Godwin Matanga also calling the shots at the scene.
Whilst Constable Garisai was instructed to guard the room where the body had been found, several people were also giving conflicting orders allowing certain individuals into the room.
The Officer in Charge for Beatrice Police Station later accompanied the body to One Commando Barracks morgue, where a post-mortem was conducted immediately.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) was also exposed when it emerged that Beatrice Police Station had no vehicle for almost six months by the time Mujuru died.
Police officers from the station were assisted with a vehicle by a white commercial farmer from Taviscom farm for them to reach Mujuru’s farm.
The inquest continues. SW Radio Africa