|Inquest findings of Rtd General Mujuru’s death - WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS FOUL PLAY|
|Thursday, 29 March 2012 11:49|
Page 11 of 11WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS FOUL PLAY
From the evidence that was adduced no one was able to tell the court whether or not there was foul play that caused the death of the Retired General Mujuru. The Investigation Officer told the court that his conclusion was that there was no foul play. The Police Forensic Scientist Mr Mutandiro told the court that he could not tell whether or not there was foul play. In other words his investigations failed to reveal anything. The forensic scientist from South Africa Police Service also failed to come out with anything.
The court has taken note as already alluded to elsewhere in this document, that there are various factors that compromised investigations. Firstly the failure to adequately and properly cordon the areas of the fire (farm house) made it impossible for fire experts like Fire Brigade to properly examine the scene and investigate the cause of fire. As a result Fire Brigade were not able to determine the cause of the fire.
Errors could have been made in identifying areas where the debris were to be taken from the errors were certainly made in the manner the exhibits were packaged. All this could have compromised and in the end affected the results of the investigations.
The question which one would ask is whether it is necessary to recommend further investigations. In its view the court does not see the necessity and no value will be derived from that. The scene has already been tempered with and evidence is contaminated because it now more than six months after the death of the deceased.
I must further comment that this is a case in which there was and continues to be a lot of suspicion over the death of the now deceased. So many people and even relatives of the deceased believe that there is amiss in the death of the now deceased but from the forty one witnesses who testified no one was able to point to the court as to the basis of such suspicion and what it is that is amiss. Even the relatives of the deceased were given an opportunity in addition to the family lawyer to question each and every witness who testified. This was done in order to bring out everything which they thought could have caused the death of the deceased but still nothing was specifically pointed to the court.
Suspicion was raised on the fact that the deceased did not have the farm house keys but had to borrow from the maid, Rosemary Short. But it came out clear from Rosemary’s evidence that she gave him one key only to the door which leads to into the farm house, the rest of the keys he had and these were recovered in the bedroom by the Police. He specifically told Rosemary that he had left his key in Harare. With this explanation from the deceased to Rosemary and the fact that the rest of the keys were found in the house, the court would wonder where the hullabaloo over missing keys was coming. The only person who would know why he left the other key in Harare is the deceased. Besides that ,however, no one pointed to the court how the missing key could be linked to the death of the now deceased or to the cause of the fire.
The motor vehicle keys were missing and up to now they are yet to be recovered. The Investigating Officer confirmed this fact and further explained that they carried out thorough investigations but could not find the keys. This again is a cause of suspicion but again nothing specific was drawn to the attention of the court. The court is not even able to recommend further investigations in that regard firstly because the Police have thoroughly investigated that issue and secondly I do not see how this will assist in finding out how the fire started.
In the final analysis the court summarises its findings as follows: The name of the deceased is Retired General Solomon Tapfumaneyi Mujuru. This fact is clear from the factual evidence presented before the court and the DNA analysis done in South Africa. They all point to the same direction as regards to the identity of the deceased. The court also concludes that the deceased met his death between the hours of 2020 on the night of 15 August 2011 and 0345 on the morning of 16 August 2011. This is because at around 2020 and 0345 hours that was the time his body was discovered inside the farmhouse. It is in this regard also that the court has concluded that the deceased met his death in the farmhouse. This is because that is where his body was discovered.
A postmortem was carried out by Dr Gonzalez who concluded that the cause of the death was carbonisation due to open fire. There is no other evidence before the court to show to the contrary and the court has no reason at all to doubt the findings of the doctor. This is the basis upon which the court makes a conclusion that death was caused by carbonisation due to open fire.
The doctor even went further in his examination to find out whether there were some other injuries on the body of the deceased caused by something else other than those caused by fire and he did not find any.
Despite the suppositions, speculations, conjectures and suspicions by various people including the deceased’s relatives, nothing concrete and no evidence at all was placed before the court to show that there was foul play in the death of the deceased.
The facts and evidence presented before the court, therefore, do not show that there was foul play and consequently the court concludes that there was no foul play.