By Fungai Lupande
The late Mr Leslie John Denn, who was board chairman of CMED (Pvt) Ltd and managing director of Nemchen (Pvt) Ltd, was murdered, the Harare Magistrates’ Court concluded yesterday after an inquest lasting nearly two months.
The presiding magistrate in the inquest, Mr Lazini Ncube, concluded that whoever shot him was an expert.
“Evidence led from the housemaid and gardener points to murder,” said Mr Ncube.
“Whoever shot him is an expert, it seems like the sound was muffled.
“The gardener heard nothing and the police did not ask the neighbours. Investigations should have been directed to the window since anyone could access the bedroom through that window.
“The police indicated that the bullet perforated his body, surprisingly no cartridge or bullet head was found, yet it should have been within two metres from the body.
“The police also confirmed that when a person shoots himself, there is a funny shape to their hand. The deceased had none, neither was there gun residue in his hands.”
Mr Lazini said evidence of the doctor who treated him of depression might tempt one to think that it was suicide, but the evidence on the ground was pointing otherwise.
“It is a mystery to the court as to what transpired and the court also wonders the urgency of burning the mattress,” said Mr Ncube.
“In the court’s view, the mattress was burnt to destroy evidence because it would have assisted the police in figuring out what really happened.
“The evidence doesn’t suggest suicide, but points to murder.”
Mr Denn was shot in the upper torso in May last year in unclear circumstances and his body was found by his fiance, Ashton Pillary, at his Borrowdale home.
Mr Ncube called Mr Denn’s housemaid, Yvonne Kapakasi, as the first witness.
She said she last saw him on May 9, 2016 around 9am while smoking a cigarette and around 4:30pm Pillary came back and entered the bedroom through a window.
Kapakasi said Pillary took a long time inside before alerting her of Mr Denn’s lifeless body.
The gardener, John Choruma, told the court that Pillary asked him to remove the gun and to burn the mattress Mr Denn’s body was found on.
In her testimony, Pillary said Mr Denn was suicidal. She later engaged a lawyer and denied ordering the mattress to be burnt.
Criminal Investigations Department and ballistic expert Detective Inspector Admire Mutizwa and the investigating officer said it was highly unlikely that Mr Denn committed suicide.
Borrowdale police officer, Share Bindu, who attended the scene said Mr Denn could have been shot on the carpet on the floor and his body later moved onto the bed.
The docket was sent back to the police for further investigations. The Herald