Heavy weapons, including an AK47 assault rifle, were discovered at Alamein Farm, Beatrice, where the late General Solomon Mujuru’s charred remains were discovered in August last year.
This was revealed on the seventh day of the inquest into Mujuru’s death. Deputy Officer Commanding Law and Order, Chief Superintendent Crispen Makedenge, who was investigating officer, told the hearing in Harare yesterday he discovered 17 severely burnt firearms, seven magazines and burnt ammunition from the farmhouse.
Among the 17 firearms, 15 were produced as exhibits including the remains of an AK47 assault rifle.
This came out as a Zesa expert ruled out an electrical fault as cause of the mysterious inferno that gutted the farmhouse.
Makedenge, who became the 28th witness, said two of the firearms were recovered on the floor in Mujuru’s bedroom.
“I recovered some burnt firearms in the badly burnt gun cabinet which was partially open because of the heat from the fire,” he said.
Makedenge said upon discovery of the charred remains, he could not identify whose body it was considering the state it was in as a result of the fire.
“The body, which was lying on the floor facing downwards, was charred and badly burnt.
“I observed the stomach contents were exposed and the opening in the stomach was quite big to the extent that all the interior organs were exposed,” he said.
Makedenge said the remains were taken to 1 Commando Barracks where pathologist, Gabriel Alvero — in the presence of the General’s relatives, Mudiwa and Tendayi Mundawarara — removed some flesh from the late General’s chest while carrying out a post mortem.
He also said Mujuru’s daughter, Kumbirai Rungano, had blood samples taken for purposes of DNA tests to establish if the charred remains were those of the late General.
Three weeks after the tragedy, blood samples, the piece of the late General’s flesh and burnt curtains were taken to Pretoria, South Africa by Makedenge, a Mrs Mutandiro and a Mrs Shamu for DNA analysis by forensic pathologists from the South African Police Service (SAPS).
During examination, Douglas Chiradza Nyakungu, a Zesa expert who carried out investigations last August, said he could not determine the cause of the fire but the electrical wiring had been destroyed.
“The cable that led into the house showed it was burnt from the distribution box and we also established that high current-carrying appliances were not in the house and there were no overloaded sockets,” he said.
Nyakungu said if there had been an electrical fault up to the point of the cubicle, the power would have switched off from the source.
“However nothing of that sort had occurred,” he said.
Nyakungu told the court he was one of the few people at Beatrice Motel where the late General had his last drink and he had accompanied him to his car after he had taken only two tots of whisky.
He said after accompanying Mujuru to his vehicle, the General received a phone call from a yet to be identified person who appeared to be a close relative judging by the manner he spoke to that person.
“He received a phone call and took a considerable period of time of about four to five minutes as he appeared to be talking to someone who had a problem and he was consoling the person.
“I understood the person was a relative because he closed the door and started talking on the phone,” he said.
A Harare City Council Fire Brigade expert, Clever Mafoti, who attended the scene, revealed the department was ill-equipped and in cases of disaster, they found it difficult to react.
Asked what would be the state of preparedness if disaster was to occur like the one in question, Mafoti said: “We have no preparedness to talk about.
“In Borrowdale for example, they last got water in 2007, and with this we would react to a fire incident with 400 litres, but would get to the scene with 100 litres of water because the vehicle would be leaking.
“It shows we don’t have equipment.”
The inquest continues today with Makedenge continuing with his testimony.