The magistrates’ court has studied and returned to the police the sudden death docket of Retired General Solomon Mujuru, it had been given for perusal, NewsDay can reveal.
On Wednesday, well-placed sources said the courts had since made their recommendations, adding an inquest into the general’s mysterious death in August was imminent.
After taking sight of the docket, a magistrate recommends whether or not an inquest is necessary.
Said the impeccable source: “The report was submitted to the magistrates’ court for sighting according to the Inquest Act. After being perused by a magistrate, it was referred back to the police for further processing.”
However, provincial magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi yesterday kept a lid on the matter and referred questions to the Chief Magistrate’s Office.
Acting chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe also declined to comment and further referred questions to “relevant authorities” he did not name.
“I am not aware of the report you are talking about, ask the relevant authorities,” Guvamombe said before hanging up his phone.
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana professed ignorance of the report saying: “I am not in the picture yet.”
According to the Inquest Act, whenever there is a sudden death or death by unnatural cause, police compile a sudden death docket which is then forwarded to a magistrate for perusal. If the magistrate suspects foul play, he orders an inquest to be carried out.
Insiders have revealed to NewsDay the police were pushing for an inquest as preliminary investigations pointed to foul play.
Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri last week told the State media he had handed over findings of their investigations to the courts.
Strenuous efforts to get comment from police spokespersons Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena and Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka proved fruitless yesterday as both their phones were unreachable.
An officer who answered Bvudzijena’s office telephone said Bvudzijena was not in the office and could only be reached on his cellphone which remained unavailable.
Mujuru, Zimbabwe’s most decorated post-independence army general, regarded by many as a political power broker in Zanu PF and a unifier, died at the age of 67 in a mysterious inferno that burnt him beyond recognition at his Beatrice farm, 35km out of Harare.
The Mujuru family, including his widow Vice-President Joice Mujuru, is keen to have the results of the police investigations, but they have been kept in the dark. Parliamentarians have expressed concerns continued delays in making public the results of the investigations fuelled conspiracy theories.