Mujuru did not trust police guards

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The housemaid testifying at the inquest into the death of Retired General Solomon Mujuru yesterday alleged the late Army General did not trust police guards at his Alamein Farm, Beatrice, where he died in a mysterious inferno in August last year.

Rosemary Shoti told the court the late Mujuru even intimated he contemplated changing them, but decided not to as their redeployment time was due.
The inquest is being conducted at the Harare Magistrates Court.

Shoti told the court the fallout between constables Obert Mark, Augustinos Chinyoka and Lazarus Handikatari and General Mujuru came about after he confronted the policemen and quizzed them over an incident where they had severely assaulted a farm employee who had been involved in a quarrel with a colleague over an undisclosed matter.

They once severely assaulted one of the farm employees resulting in him falling into the water and his wife had to rescue him. The farm worker sustained serious injuries and had difficulty in walking. As a result, he had to be taken to hospital, Shoti said.

She continued: When the late Retired Army General heard the news, he was not impressed and quizzed them about the issue.

He asked them to explain if they had first tried to ascertain the nature of the brawl that the farm worker was involved in before they severely beat him up. The brawl had happened at a beerhall. In response, they said they had not tried to enquire.

Shoti told the court Mujurus relations with the policemen were so strained to the extent the late General once intimated to her that there was virtually no security at the farm.

Shoti made the startling revelations under examination by the late Mujurus brother, Joel.

The elder Mujuru had asked Shoti to describe the relations between the late General and his police bodyguards.

You spent 10 years at the farm and it appears you were very familiar with the deceaseds movements and my question is, were you satisfied with the relationship between General Mujuru and his bodyguards? asked Joel Mujuru.

Would you say there was adequate security provided by the police on duty in comparison to his previous police bodyguards?

Shoti replied: There was a huge difference in their relationship compared to his relationship with previous bodyguards.

The now deceased once approached me and made a statement to the effect that the current police officers were avoiding him most of the time. He even intimated to me he contemplated changing them, but decided not to as their redeployment time was due.

She said the three were then told by the late Mujuru that they were operating unprofessionally.It was from that day that the late General Mujuru told me the police officers guarding him were avoiding him each time he came to the farm, she said.

Shoti said Mujuru often used to provide food to the policemen, but ended up instructing her to stop doing so because of their conduct.

The period that the officers were supposed to be relieved of their duties had long elapsed. Mujuru once told me that we virtually had no security at the farm and I should always be alert, said Shoti.

The three policemen are said to have been deployed at Alamein Farm from June up to August when General Mujuru died.