Mujuru inquest: 22 yet to testify


The high-profile inquest into the mysterious death of one of Zimbabwe’s most decorated army commander, Retired General Solomon Mujuru, enters its second week tomorrow.

Judiciary Service Commission deputy secretary Rex Shana had initially hinted the inquest would run from Monday to Friday last week.

But when the hearing took off, it became apparent the anticipated timeframe was not adequate given that 20 of the 42 witnesses had so far testified in the matter.

According to a representative from the Attorney-General’s Office (AG), 42 witnesses were expected to testify in the case which has seen the General’s widow, Vice-President Joice Mujuru and family members, several government officials, business partners and other top politicians, attending the hearings on a daily bases.

By Friday last week, 20 witnesses had taken to the witness stand chronicling the events of what transpired at Alameine Farm in Beatrice on the night of August 15 last year.

The General’s charred remains were eventually discovered inside the farmhouse after the inferno.
At least 22 more witnesses are this week expected to take to the witness stand with forensic experts from South Africa expected to play a vital role.

Those who have testified include Enock Talapenzi (Gen.Mujuru’s personal driver), Portia Kamvura (Beatrice Motel barlady), Blessing Madzivire (neighbouring farmer), Tongai Chimuka (neighbouring farmer), Clemence Runhare (private security guard), Augastinos Chinyoka (police guard), Obert Mark (police guard), Lazarus Handikatari (police guard), Petros Jason (farm worker), Albert Arufandika (groundsman), Rosemary Short (housemaid), Samuel Lewis (farm security guard), Enerst Nyamanja (farm security gaurd), Apronia Chitashu (shop keeper), Tawanda Madondo (gardener), Emmanuel Musona (welder), Ewiri Biara (farm security guard), Stephen Harineyi (farm clerk), Sarudzai Nyakudya (President’s Office receptionist), and Samuel Gamanya (neighbouring farm manager).

Prosecutors Sharon Fero and Clemence Chimbari are assisting the court in examining witnesses while VP Mujuru’s family is represented by a private lawyer, Thakor Kewada.

Ephraim Ncube is the interpreter.

Regional magistrate Walter Chikwanha is presiding over the inquest.

There was widespread suspicion of foul play as confusing and often conflicting statements were proffered from various quarters.