gen mujuru2.jpgThe inquest into the death of Retired General Solomon Mujuru entered Day Nine this Friday with the Investigating Officer in the case revealing that their inquiry failed to establish the cause of the fire.

 

Chief Superintendent Crispen Makedenge was the 28th witness who gave his account of the cause of the fire which claimed the life of one of Zimbabwe’s illustrious military commanders General Mujuru concluded testifying this Friday.

He was asked by the coroner and presiding officer of the inquest, Mr. Walter Chikwanha as to whether they had, through their investigations, managed to positively identify the deceased, if they had ascertained the cause of the fire, and if they had also managed to ascertain the cause of death.

Chief Superintendent Makedenge, who is also the Investigating Officer, said during their investigations, they had received DNA results from the police forensic experts in Pretoria, South Africa, adding that the report indicated a 99.9% match between the skin collected from the charred remains and the blood sample collected from Kumbirai Rungano Mujuru, the late General’s daughter.

He further revealed that the report from the pathologist concluded that General Mujuru had died as a result of carbonation due to fire which is caused by the direct inhalation of carbon dioxide, indicating however that the report from the expert from ZESA and the expert from the Fire Brigade failed to establish the cause and source of the fire.

Regional Magistrate, Mr. Walter Chikwanha probed him on the probability of foul play and Chief Superintendent Makedenge said nothing from the investigations seems to suggest or points any foul play as no witnesses or evidence had revealed the aspect of foul play.

He also produced a print out from mobile phone network, Econet, which had a printout of the calls which the late General made and received. The last call he made was on the 15th of August at 1456 hours, whilst the last call he had received was from the United Kingdom on the 16th of August at 1801 hours.

Detective Inspector Admire Mtizwa from the CID Forensic Ballistics Unit came in as the 29th witness and gave expert opinion to the effect that they had scientifically examined all the spent cartridges discovered from the fire scene and managed to establish that the ammunition had exploded from the fire, adding that all the firearms recovered from the scene had been extensively burnt that it was impossible to check whether they had been recently used or not.

He said that the firearms were 15 and 14 of them were licensed commercial firearms used for hunting and also accessible to farmers, whilst one was an Army issue AK47.

Kumbirai Rungano Mujuru, the late General’s daughter, was the 30th witness and she testified on how she had received the report of the fire and the events that occurred until she had provided blood samples to a police doctor after she had been told that it was needed for DNA tests.

The last witness of the day, Dr Edward Fusire confirmed that he had indeed taken blood samples from the General’s daughter, but said he was not privy to the results as he had handed the sample to the investigating officer who had requested for the sample.

Regional Magistrate, Mr. Walter Chikwanha then instructed the Mujuru family legal representative, Mr. Thakor Kewada, to put a formal request from the court record after he had written a letter to him indicating that the Mujuru family had notified him that they needed to also introduce an independent pathologist from South Africa who will assist the first one.

The State prosecutor, Mrs. Sharon Fero confirmed receiving the application and said the State was not opposed as the sole purpose of the inquest was to establish the cause of the General’s death.

It was however emphasised that an exhumation is not part of the application.

 

Mr. Chikwanha will make a ruling on the application this Monday when the inquest continues.