The effectiveness of security personnel guarding the late Retired General Solomon Mujuruâ€™s house at his Ruzambo Farm in Beatrice came under the spotlight as the inquest to establish the cause of his death entered Day 4 at Rotten Row Magistrate Court in Harare.Â Â
The 11th State witness, Rosemary Short, who worked as a house-maid at the late Generalâ€™s farm for 12 years, revealed under questioning from the State Prosecutor, Mrs Sharon Fero, that the late General had once confided to her that he had no confidence in the police officers manning the farm.
She added that the police officers had once assaulted and seriously injured one of the farm workers at a beer hall for no apparent reason, adding that this did not go down well with the late General who admonished them.
She said since the incident, the police details had been avoiding him whenever he came to the farm.
There was a lighter moment during the inquestâ€™s proceedings when Sekuru Samuel Lewis, the farmhouse guard who came in as the 12th witness left the court in stitches after he indicated that when he heard explosive sounds from the farmhouse, he had run a 600-metre distance under a minute to inform Clemence Runhare, the private security guard deployed at the outer gate.
His evidence of events on the fateful day was consistent with his initial statement to the police especially on the issue of time which he had heard the explosive sounds.
Sekuru Lewis managed to maintain that he had heard the explosive sounds at around 12 midnight.
The 13th witness to testify, who was also employed by the late General as a guard and stationed at the farm shop, maintained that the General was alone when he came to collect the keys from Rosemary at around 8pm on the 15th of August 2011.
He further admitted to having heard explosive sounds in the morning at around 2:00am and he indicated that he had been told by Constable Mark that they were probably emanating from asbestos sheets from the burning farmhouse.
Regional Magistrate and Coroner in the inquest, Mr Walter Chikwanha instructed the State prosecutors to liaise with the Investigations Officer and seek for expert evidence on the nature of chemicals contained in one of the storage rooms razed to the ground during the fire to establish if they were of any explosive nature.
The last witness to testify was Apronia Chitashu, a shop-keeper at the farm and nephew to the late General who also gave her recollection of the events that took place on the day.
She also testified to having heard explosive like sounds in the morning.
Commenting on the dayâ€™s proceedings, the late Generalâ€™s elder brother, Mr Joel Mujuru said he was not in a position to say whether the inquest had unearthed possible leads to establish the true circumstances surrounding his brothersâ€™ death.
State Prosecutor, Mr Clemence Chimbari indicated to the Magistrate that this Friday, 4 more witnesses will testify before the coroner and the proceedings will spill into the next week as experts are still to give their version of the events.
Vice President Joice Mujuru will also testify.
The key issues and revelations which emerged during 4th day of inquest are as follows:
1.Â Â Â Â The General was not confident of the security personnel deployed at his farm.
2.Â Â Â The keys the General is said to have forgotten in Harare were found after the fire in the main bedroom whilst the kitchen key was not recovered.
3.Â Â Â The vehicle was parked at the veranda entrance near the swimming pool far from the kitchen which the General is expected to have gained access into his house
4.Â Â Â The explosive sounds were likely from the bursting asbestos sheets.