Mujuru inquest should provide answers

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Since the inexplicable death of Retired General Solomon Mujuru in an inferno at his Alamein Farm, Beatrice, in August last year, speculation has been rife on what could have happened to the countrys most decorated army commander.

The nation has been waiting for answers and the opening of the inquest into his death on Monday therefore offered Zimbabweans hope that they will finally get to the bottom of what happened to Zimbabwes liberation war icon.

An inquest is a judicial inquiry into the cause of an unexpected or mysterious death. Before the inquiry is held, the police should fully investigate the death and compile a docket which they then forward to the courts for the inquiry to take place.

The opening of the inquest presents an opportunity for witnesses to provide important information that should explain procedures and provide answers.

Mujurus widow, Vice-President Joice Mujuru, the Mujuru family and the nation at large have been waiting for this since the August 16 tragedy.

So far a number of witnesses have appeared, but of importance are the contradictions in their testimonies.

In particular, there have been anomalies in the evidence of security personnel which have been queried by VP Mujuru herself.

There is no doubt the Mujuru family has been tormented by the generals death and only satisfactory answers will provide closure to this important matter and allow the nation an opportunity to move on with their lives knowing full well what transpired to their son whose remains lie at the National Heroes Acre.

The success of this inquest will be a success for the countrys judicial system.

There have been other such inquiries. The inquests into the untimely death of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation minister Border Gezi and that of businessman Peter Pamire are cases in point.

However, these were inconclusive. In the current case, VP Mujuru has complained about inadequate security procedures on her husbands farm and late delivery to the family of witness statements.

Nonetheless, interested parties should wait for the court process to take its course so that everyone is afforded a chance to express themselves and be subject to cross-examination before the regional magistrate sitting as a coroner at the Harare Magistrates Court.

There will understandably be those who are impatient for answers. But a case of this sort requires patience and diligence rather than speed.

Lets hope that at the end of the day we can say this was a case that removed any remaining doubts.