Zimbabwe Republic Police officers manning the late Retired General Solomon Tapfumaneyi Mujuruâ€™s Beatrice farm house are alleged to have failed to carry out their security duties in a proper manner.
This emerged during the second day into the inquest to establish the circumstances surrounding the death of the â€˜Commander of Commanders,â€™ General Mujuru.
Day 2 of the Mujuru death inquest exposed a lot of anomalies in the conduct of police officers tasked with providing close security to the now deceased General Mujuru, his family and his property.
The seventh state witness, Constable Obert Mark, who worked at Ruzambo farm for six weeks, was almost brought to tears by the Mujuru family legal representative, Mr Thakor Kewada who exposed inconsistencies in Markâ€™s testimony.
During the cross examination, Constable Mark was asked why they delayed in putting out the fire, but said he did not know the integral structure of the farm house as he was not permitted to enter the Generalâ€™s house according to the briefing he received from his superiors.
Pressed further on their delay in attempting to rescue Cde Mujuru from the inferno, the constable said all doors were locked and the intense fire and smoke made entrance virtually difficult.
Constable Mark later conceded to having negligently performed his duties as he failed to safeguard General Mujuru as required by his duties.
It was also revealed during the inquest that the three police officers on duty during the fateful day had no means of communication to alert their superiors in cases of emergency as their field radio was dysfunctional and their cell phones did not have air time.
Vice President Joice Mujuru; Mr Joel Mujuru, who is a brother to the late General; Kumbie Mujuru, daughter to the late and his nephews all cross examined the constable over the delays in alerting the authorities and failure to save their relative.
Constable Mark admitted that there had been laxity in the security arrangements as they were operating in shifts by night.
Other inconsistencies exposed during the second day are as follows:
1.Â Â Â Clemence Runhare [the private security guard stationed 300 meters from the farm house] revealed in his testimony that he heard two gunshot like sounds around midnight. However the police officers denied hearing explosive sounds.
2.Â Â Â Runhare further mentioned seeing a passenger sitting in front with Cde Mujuru, yet the police officers remain adamant that the General was alone.
3.Â Â Â Runhare mentioned that he was notified of the fire around midnight whilst the police officers said they saw the fire around 2AM.
4.Â Â Â Finally, Constable Obert Mark is the only one who swears that the General appeared drunk, evidence which has been refuted by all the other six witnesses who have so far testified.
The inquest was postponed to 09:30 hrs this Wednesday following concerns raised by the Mujuru family and legal representative over the failure by the state to avail them with the court papers in time.
After the inquest postponement, Vice President Mujuru said the admission by one police officer of having failed to carry out his duties in a proper manner did not warrant her to condemn the entire police force.
She added that she was not amused by the fact that a trained police officer failed basic map reading as evidenced by Constable Markâ€™s failure to understand the ground plan of the main house during cross examination which is not expected of a police officer.