The Mujuru family through their legal representative, Thakor Kewada, from Scanlen and Holderness have formally requested for the exhumation of the remains of the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru to allow a proper post mortem in line with international best practice.This emerged during the 12th day of the inquest after the credibility of the Cuban expatriate forensic pathologist who carried out the post-mortem came under the spotlight.
After the 36th witness, Dr. Gabriel Aguero Gonzales the forensic pathologist who carried out the post-mortem on the remains found at Alamein farm on the 16th of August last year took to the stand, a lot of questions emerged.
Through the assistance of the acclaimed forensic pathologist from South Africa, Dr. Reggie Perumal, the Mujuru legal representative put Dr. Aguero Gonzales to task over the manner in which he had conducted the post-mortem.
Dr. Aguero Gonzales indicated to the court whilst under questioning from Sharon Fero of the Attorney Generalâ€™s office that his findings after the examination indicated that part of the skull was broken owing to intense heat though there were no signs of trauma.
No abnormalities showing signs of beatings were present while the internal anatomy was very much burnt with the skin and walls of the abdomen entirely burnt.
The body was highly burnt, making it difficult to establish any injuries as some body parts had been entirely incinerated while the respiratory tract had indications of inhalation of carbon monoxide.
He added that the lungs were very much carbonated whilst the detection of carbon from the respiratory tract indicated that the fire started whilst the General was alive and he had inhaled the carbon.
There was lack of dark blood in the cardiovascular system which made it difficult to detect elements which caused the death of the General.
He concluded that he had suspected the inhalation of carbon monoxide had contributed to the death of the General, though he made it clear that his findings were not conclusive owing to the state of the body which was badly burnt.
After his testimony, Thakor Kewada being aided by Dr. Reggie Perumal exposed that Dr. Aguero Gonzales was not registered to the Medical Council of Zimbabwe, and also questioned how he had failed to carry out an x-ray, brain examination and an examination of each and every organ separately in line with international best practices.
Questions were also raised over how it was possible that the intestines and part of the abdomen were burnt whilst the carpet beneath the body remained not burnt and no clear cut answers were provided.
After the question and answer, Thakor Kewada indicated that their expert from South Africa had detected that the post-mortem was not satisfactorily conducted owing to the failure to establish the deceasedâ€™s cause of death and his identity as well as the failure to conduct a brain examination and the absence of an x-ray.
He further notified the coroner, Walter Chikwanha that as a result, the conclusions of the autopsy conducted by Dr. Gonzales, were not done expertly and professionally, leaving room for error, hence the need for a second examination.
Regional Magistrate Walter Chikwanha then intimated to Thakor Kewada that the procedure for an exhumation fell in line with the office of the Minister of Home Affairs, hence he will consider the application over the weekend.
Next Monday, the inquest will resume with the statement of Vice President Mujuru being introduced though she will not take to the stand due to her emotional state.
The magistrate will also rule on the request for an exhumation.