Police findings spark outrage

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THE MDC-T and the Headlands family whose 12-year-old son Christpowers Maisiri died in a mysterious inferno over a week ago yesterday dismissed as “unconvincing” the police findings into the cause of the fire that led to the tragedy.

Report by Everson Mushava

They also said the speed with which the police carried out and concluded their investigations raised a lot of suspicion given past experiences with police probes.

Police on Sunday said Christpowers had died as a result of an explosion of fertiliser and tobacco chemicals that were being kept in the thatched hut in which the boy and his siblings were sleeping.

Police chief spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said they suspected the explosion could have been caused by a paraffin lamp left unattended inside the hut.

Charamba yesterday insisted the police had done their work “diligently without fear or favour” and urged disgruntled family members to air their views through proper police channels.

“We did not rush. We are still looking further into the matter but as far as forensic examinations are concerned, that is what came out.

Besides reports from forensic experts, police have been doing their best to investigate the matter,” she said.

The MDC-T and Christpowers’ parents dismissed the police findings, insisting he was killed in an arson attack. The Maisiri family are members of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.

“It seems the police were too much in a hurry to rule out foul play and exonerate certain individuals. If there is nothing to hide, an independent investigation should be allowed,” MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora said according to what his party had collected, it was clear Zanu PF elements were involved in the death of the Grade Four pupil.
Beauty Muunganirwa, Christpowers’ mother, has also disputed police claims that the inferno was caused by a paraffin lamp saying she last used a paraffin lamp in her home three years ago.

“I use a torch,” Muunganirwa said.

“The paraffin lamps that police found in the house were very old and rusty items that were no longer in use. They were given to me by a certain teacher at Ruura Primary School a very long time ago and we have not been using paraffin in this home for the past three years. I even showed the Criminal Investigation Department officers the rusting lamps.”

Muunganirwa said she now feared for her life since the investigation appeared to have only helped to conceal rather than expose the truth.
Political analyst and director at the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute Pedzisai Ruhanya said given the international attention the death of the boy had received, the police report could have been meant to control damage.

“Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has declared his support for Zanu PF. How then can he order his troops to arrest Zanu PF officials? Police and Zanu PF are hands in glove, they are mutual,” Ruhanya said.

“There is a tripartite arrangement between the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Zanu PF intelligence and the political leadership to craft the party’s electoral strategies. This unholy trinity is what needs to be exposed. Otherwise, Zimbabwe is heading for more heinous acts.”

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai yesterday said they would approach President Robert Mugabe to demand an independent probe into the matter.
Tsvangirai’s adviser Alex Magaisa said yesterday it was of concern that there was selective application of the law.

Magaisa said the Maisiri family was strongly of the view that the boy was murdered and they had provided the police with names of suspects.

Scientific explanations say that although ammonium nitrate (AN) is commonly used in explosives, it is by itself not an explosive.
“Most commercial forms of explosives used for civil purposes would have ammonium nitrate as a basic raw material though not an explosive by itself,” reported Business Standard, an Indian newspaper, in August last year.

A study titled Material Safety Data Sheets of Ammonium Nitrate showed the fertiliser is stable, not easily flammable, unless mixed with other chemicals to make explosives by use of a detonator particularly in terror bombs and mine blasting.

A source in the chemical industry who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity ruled out an explosion in the Headlands fire saying if four bags of fertiliser were used to make a bomb, the explosion would have destroyed the whole village.

“That’s 200 kilogrammes of AN!” exclaimed the expert. “The whole home would have been brought down and no one could have survived. The environment could have been destroyed. Yes, there could be reaction with tobacco chemicals, but this fire started from the top of the house, it is not really an explosion.”

69 COMMENTS

  1. The puppets are clutching at funeral straws in the vain hope of getting sympathy votes – what a shame!

    • iwe Matambo if your memory is as good as mine and can recall what happened in Midlands how the governor’s son and his friends gruesomely murdered Chokuda who spent 6 years in mortuary and how they denied the charges before admitting vanhu ve Zanu PF hamurambirwe.

      • Don’t lie. The Midlands incident was not politically motivated but a case of someone being accused of breaking into the business premisses of Machaya’s son. The guy was apprehended and fatally assaulted just as people do in Mabvuku and Chitungwiza when they catch a thief. MDC-T is now known for claiming dead bodies of such people for political expediency. If MDC-T have evidence of arson then please show it to the world?

    • There is something idiotic about people whose brains were demented by ZANU PF. The most insane and most vocal of their defense of the status quo of ill-gotten gains and wealth is to call those who oppose corruption and the death-defying dictatorship “puppets”. This word is so routinely bandied about you almost think these people are brainless as to have no other word in the English dictionary to use.

      But, more tragic than that is the inability of most people associated with ZANU PF to think as human beings. They have a leader who routinely calls other citizens of this once-great country puppets and goblins. I have never seen the latter, but the only imagery it brings me is that of the leader of that party- a spoilt proponent of evil in Zimbabwe.

    • I pray that Zanu PF barbarians rape the mother or wife or both of Matambo. He will at that point see the light and resurrect from the dead .

  2. It might not be the first case to be pre-determined before investigation in protection of the perpetrators.There are cry babies when trying to ask for a fair and un biased investigations. Who does not know what goes on.

  3. Why killing such an innocent young boy and hidding the truth?Even if the act happened in the dead of the night,rember that somebody was watching you and those trying to hide this mess you are all but being seen by the alMight God.PLease wake-up and stand by the facts.The boy was gruesome killed.This is cruety at the highest order.

    • What independent investigation, we ve a police force which is capable of disharging its duties. This family was paid 2 peddle lies, i wonder hw much they were paid pamwe tingaitewo mari neku reporter ku mdct mafunerals anenge ayitika mu neigbourhood yedu tongoti akaraiwa nevanhu ve zpf.

      • Our Police Force ceases to be professional when dealing with cases of political violence involving Zanu PF.Many cases have died a natural death and that has led to the erosion of the peoples confidence in the force and their results came as no surprise at all.Many people died before,during and after the June 2008 plebiscite and no arrests have up to now.It boggles the mind for one to say the victims are paid to peddle lies.We are all human regardless of our political persuasions and let us all know that life is sacrosanct even to the sacrilegious.If it can take the police a week to get rid of touts in our urban areas, how long can it take them to get rid of these few malcontents in our society?

      • aah iwe wakasara ne Zanu pf yako….how long did they take to conclude the Chitungwiza blast…tibvire apo!!!

  4. the only way zanu can win elections is thru violence and intimadation,,,,a leopard will never shed its spots

  5. Zim cops should invest in latest technology and avoid wasting money on baton sticks and teargas,you also failed to solve mujuru’s case do we always have to rely on mzansi

  6. its a sad thing indeed but my question to those disputing the outcome is: since you seem to be having information that is contrary to what Police are saying, did you give that information to them so that we demand to know what they have done with that information?

    its hollow to just dismiss the findings and not offer an alternative. lets first of all know what the Police are ignoring then we join hands to push them to act.

  7. Dai arimunhu weZanu akafa vanhu vacho vakatotongwa kare.shuwa shuwa kuvanza vanhu vakaponda mwana asina mhosva kudai??ndopamunonzwa kti Chihuri aita church service kuMorris Depot!Satan akadaro.God is Watching.Truly,He is.

    • the outcome of police is true and final. We don’t want any complain from you cry baby. Bullshit american puperts.

  8. Popular musician Nicholas Zacharias’s latest release sums it all that ‘Mashoko ako anogona kukusungirira’, thats very true .; The police did their work as usual and this time around with speed , but as usual the result is disappointing , especially to the Maisiri family.

    So we say as usual they did their work, but the Maisiris have more questions than what came out of the whole investigations. So be it for now …..

  9. What a load of rubbish ! Arrest this family for fabrication. Where in the world can you maintain your home lighting with a torch for three years. She must be completely daft to think anyone can believe such senslessness . If the mdcheats and NGOS believe this nonsense then they are truly crazy. But we are not idiots to believe this hogwash.

    • There was a time when fuel such as paraffin was scarce during that time people resorted to using torches.

      • Nanhasi pple use torches kumaruzevha.sometimes on platforms like these vanhu vagarisa kudiaspora pliz tibatsirei nekusacommenta on these issues coz yo comments really sound upsetting,otherwise who in this country doesnt know kuti kumaruzevha matorch are the in thing for lighting at night?most pple in such places cant afford parrafin for lighting anymore.musataura zvamusingazivi pliz

      • Chingara is very silly. My mother also uses a torch – a solar powered torch and a very reliable one too. Do not rush to make stupid observations without full knowledge of what you are talking about. This village woman Beauty is a better cop than Chihuri and his commissioners.

        • @ hacha ndizvo, Vanhu vakazvarirwa wakakurira mumatapi wasingaziwe kumusha especially musha we a poor person. Ngava ite shut up. Masolar lights akauya nezuro uno aya. This guy needs to build a better home before he can afford the luxuries of a solar lantern. You are the one in need of thinking out of your idiosyncratic behavior.

    • Patrick Nabanyama disappeared without a trace in 2000 and when the alleged murderer was killed,police suddenly sprung into action arresting several ‘suspects’ who were later acquitted after being tortured to confess.We were treated to a drama as ZTV followed proceedings religiously, from the shallow grave where his body was found right straight to his home.Cain Nkala was then then declared a national hero but up to now the Nabanyamas havent found the remains of their departed relative.Since Cain Nkala’s alleged killers were acquitted,it means his actual killers are still scot free.Nothing has been said about Nabanyama and the Police seems to be clueless just because he was from the MDC.That is ZRP for you.

  10. We have lost confidance in ZRP,ZNA & ZPS. We need security sector reforms. These people are not professional in the discharge of their duties.

  11. its sad the mdc will never believe in the zrp. i believe when the prime minister wins he is sure to train some other police which will come and maintain peace and order in zimbabwe.

  12. Apart from the squabling unions,the govt must now resolve the issue of civil servants salaries , not only teachers because everyone is working and is entitled to fair renumeration which is fair enough to sustain that person and his family.

    Now the problem with our govt is that they tend to target teachers most of the times as if they are the only civil servants in this country . This has caused a lot of disharmony among the people , which then created an impression that a certain group was more special than the other.

    So mr. govt put your act together and finalize this matter ,before some of you leave your positions soon, and very soon.

    .

  13. its so obvious tht e’ zanu police r hiding things. yy dnt they b a bit proffesnal nd ask e’ suspects they gt frm e’maisiri’s. surely if sme1 has a history of harrasment, torment frm zanu guys, isnt tht evidence enuf. our cops r disgraceful, they hve sold their soul 2 zanu…shame!

  14. taura hako rasta. does the lamp show signs of exploding and were there an marks on the bodies of the survivors that shows indeed there was an explosion? police investigations was very shody to say the least. the are used not to close cases but leave people guessing always.

  15. Please help me here. Editor the picture thats accompanies this story are you sure its the police spokesperson. To me it looks like Jestina Mukoko. Please verfiy

  16. Eish, these ZRP guys are so daft. If you want to cheat in an investigation, why rush to announce the result? Anyway, I see Morgan Tsvangirayi ALSO wants ‘permission’ from Mugabe to call in the ‘Scotland Yard’. Why would a WHOLE Prime Minister ‘beg’ Mugabe for an independent investigation? Just contract a PI, you don’t need permission from a dictator to ‘incriminate’ his cronies, gees!

  17. ZRP has always covered up what Zanupf criminals do since Gukurahundi. They destroyed every evidence. As already stated they openly support Zanupf. There is no way that they can arrest Zanupf murderers who do so to perpetuate Zanupf’s rule. They cannot fight against themselves. Forget it. This is why many people raised eyebrows when Tswangirai announced that a former Zanupf Chairman is now the chairman of a Human Rights Commission. A perpetrator of violence against fellow human beings now is the one leading a campaign against his own actions before even confessing or apologizing. He just grabs the job and enjoys the money thanks to the “pseudo Zanupf victim” Tswangirai the and Mutambara.

  18. Whenever Zanu-PF burns someone, the police must and should find “no foul”. This is a code for “we did it” and the police belongs to us!

  19. Nobody has determined where the fire started from. Police are worked with forensic scientists to work backwards and determine how the whole thing happened. Those claiming that the fire started from the top are trying to justify their claims of arson however no eveidence has been found to prove arson. The elder brother Never, only woke up to the sound of an explosion so he would not have seen whether the fire started from the top or inside. Never also lied about being burnt on his hands while saving his sibblings as no injuries were found on his person. Can he show the world his injuries?

    The mother saying they have not used paraffin lamps for 3 years when one was found near where the fertilizer was is questionable. Infact it speaks of coaching. It’s sad when a family tries to abuse such a sad tragedy for political ends. This woman can see herself in a 4×4 Mazda Eagle as an MP’s wife more than the life of her son.

    Newsday and MDC-T’s approach to this is inflammatory to say the least. It does nothing to promote peace and unity among Zimbabweans. Journalists and politicians need to know that they occupy a very loft position in influencing people and they may just achieve unintended consequences with such inuendo and speculative speak. Mwonzora and this Mushava need to be more careful and measured instead of sowing seeds of chaos when everyone is calling for peace. Remember Rwanda. It was journalists writing and speaking like Mushava and Mwonzora are doing that led to genocide that killed more than 500 000 people in Rwanda.

    Let’s let our police do their work with hinderance. MDC-T were never going to accept any other finding that did not say arson. They put themselves in that situation by using the boy’s death in a hut fire as the cover for their dossier to regional and international leaders. What they did was equivalent to picking up a glittering stone and convincing yourself that it’s gold, telling all that could listen that you have found gold. When test results come back and say it’s just another ordinary stone will you accept the results of the test?

    • I meant “Police worked” and “Let’s let our police do their work without hinderance”

    • If you want to test whether the Police to do their work properly follow the instructions below;

      1. Buy an MDC party card and put it into your pocket.
      2. Put on an MDC T-Shirt and an MDC cap.
      3. On a busy Saturday or Sunday walk to the nearest shops (dressed as in 2 above).
      4. Buy lots of beer (for yourself only) and move from one shop to the other.
      5. At this point you shall be confronted and asked a lot of questions and you shall be accused of being a sell out. If you are lucky you shall escape with a few slaps – at worst you shall be beaten thoroughly, your T-Shirt shall be torn, the party card shredded. If there is a base nearby you shall be dragged there to undergo re-orientation lessons for a night or two.
      6. After this ordeal – if you are still alive – rush to the nearest Police station and make a precise and concise report – naming the perpetrators (your tormentors) giving their actual residential and work addresses.
      7. Record clearly the response from the Police.
      8 Go home and wait for ten years for feedback.

      Wish you a good research.

      • And how does that prove the boy was killed by ZanuPf? You are so stupid its annoying reading your senseless bullshhit. satanyokko!

  20. EVER SINCE THIS POLICE COMMISSIONER WAS APPOINTED, THE TRUE POLICE CHARTER AND PRINCIPLES WERE DISCARDED. WE HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH BASHING OF NATIONALS. HE HAS TURNED THE ZRP INTO VIGILANTES. THIS POLICE FORCE HAS BEEN DISCREDITED LEFT RIGHT AND CENTRE. THE ONLY TIME THIS WILL END IS WHEN THE CHIWURE HIMSELF LEAVES THE GROUP. THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS GROUP ANYMORE TO BE PROUD OF. THEY ARE IN SERVICE OF THE MASTER NOT THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE. IF THIS CHIWURE GUY WAS IN THE STRUGGLE HE SURELY MUST HAVE BEEN THERE FOR OTHER REASONS THAN LIBERATION. HE HAS NO IDEA OF WHAT LIBERATION OF THE PEOPLE IS ABOUT. EVEN THE 12 YEAR OLDS ARE NOT SAFE UNDER HIS SO CALLED PROTECTION.
    IF THEY KILLED TONG, MUJURU THE VERY EPITOM OF THE TRUE STRUGGLE, YOU WONDER WHO THEN CAN BE SAFE WITH THIS GUY IN CHARGE OF THIS VIGILANTE GROUP.
    THESE ARE CHANCERS WHO DUCKED AND DIVED AND HID IN MOUNTAINS WHEN THE TRUE LIBERATORS WERE FOLKING IT OUT WITH THE ENERMY. TODAY THEY TAKE EVERYTHING FROM THE POVO FOR THEMSELVES AND ANY ONE WHO DARES OPPOSE THEM GETS BASHED REGARLESS OF AGE. SHAME CHIWURE ….. LIFE HAS TOUGH LEASONS FOR SUCH. BE WARE.

  21. There are rumours that an MDC activist was found yesterday with 35 stab wounds, 16 bullet holes, 2 burnt hands, 2 amputated legs. After expert forensic experts from the ZRP were summonsed, in 3 minutes they published the evidence of their highly professional findings.

    IT WAS SUICIDE!

  22. We are flummoxed. MDC-T canbe this colous, canbe this desperate. Dispatching this small bird (Timba) on a regional trot lying that the small boy’s death had a Zanu Pf gene was certainly morally desolate. How does a human being with a human heart seek to achieve cheap political expediency through the demise of a human soul? Ndokuguma kwenyika here uku,,we are flummoxed!!!! And the family is not helping matters at all. Valuing a Mazda BT50 or an Isuzu DTech over a son’s irreplaceable life is just unfathomable. But for those who are not in the know, it has become an MDC-T culture of buying people to lie to win the court of public opinion. But they handle it in a shoddie way. The same happened at inspector Mutekedza’s court case, were relatives including Mutekedza’s own father and brother were foolishly bought to witness otherwise in court. The same is a replay in Headlands. Zimbabweans must wake up and be able to read not only between but through the lines. The mother lies the fire did not start with a paraffin lamp yet there were lamps in the room. Why does she wants to expose mental bereftness. A fire that is started with a bomb should surely leave traces which can not create problems to forensic scientists. And why would the MDC want to push for an independent inquiry. Are they not the once who brags that the entire functionaries in the police are now sympathetic to their cause? If it is true, as they want the whole world to believe, would the same junior police officers do a disservice to the very political party that they associate with?.. Why don’t we give our police officers enough operational space to execute their mandate proffessionally and unhindered?

  23. We all know who’s responsible but i’m suprised the mdc thinks making ‘demands’ to mugabe will help anything. Zanu even butchers its own, ask the mujuru’s, gunda’s etc etc the list is endless. And they also don’t have answers up to today. What makes u think u will get any…

  24. it seems people have a short memory,this family has been under political pesecution from zpf and its a known fact.the father a very active member of mdc ,is challenging a zpf incumbent and they are not comfortable with that.ndipo panenyaya yese.this is an open case,only fools with blinkers will see nothing wrong.

  25. i remember very well mudidimus mutasa claiming maisiri 2 b a zanu member,nw dey saying he z jus an opposition member wanting 2 taint zanu’s image,wc is wc nw u zanu morons

    • To sum it all: The leopard has not changed its spots. If Maisiri was zanu then 29 MDC T activists were going to languish in remand prison for the next 13 months. Chihuri and company are an intergral element in the Junta power matrix. Look at Mutasa and u see Christpowers blood dripping from his hands but he is left to hunt and murder more12 year old boys.
      Voting for Bob and the wailers will mean Gehena on earth with Mutasa as the devil burning people in their sleep.

  26. There is a poll currently running on the notorious Zanu PF propaganda newspaper (Herald) which says:
    “Do you think the West can be neutral players as election observers?”. Results are currently Yes (65%), No (35%)! I just had to laugh, this is again more egg all over the propaganda mouthpiece. Please go and add to the misery.

  27. Thanks very much . Didn’t know of that . Must have been stealthily installed by Jonathan Moyo . Will visit the wretched website and cast my ballot as I sing MAMVEMVE !

  28. The Mdc-t cannot win an election by demonising your courts,your military,your independence,your revolutionary war,your veterans,your law enforcement officers,your academics,your teachers,your land reform,your resources,your institutions,your economy,your foreign policy,the lists go on and on.Pretty soon,you will be left with nothing but to demonise yourselves.

  29. I notice all Mdc dimwits have come out to expose just how shallow their brains are.

    To you all MDC fools, you are not doing your party or yourself any favours by making ridiculous & childish comments here or anywhere else.

    You can say this or that but the bottom line is you have no case.

    Insulting Mugabe, the police or anyone will not suddenly turn that boy’s death into an arson.

    Your so called western friends who rely on evidence for anything are ashamed of your stupidity & that is why they have not published your stupid claims in their newspapers as they normally do.

    Its amazing you actually think you are making a point when all you are doing is showing how deluded you all are. You’re all a big embarrassment to Zimbabweans.

    • nhai bullshit
      whatever happened to tolerance, why are we calling each other all sorts of names.. so much hatred of each other in these comments. why why why.. are we all Zimbabweans…why cant we express our opinions in a civilised manner…this is what begets violence!!! Very sad indeed!!

  30. I notice all Mdc dimwits have come out to expose just how shallow their brains are.

    To you all MDC fools, you are not doing your party or yourself any favours by making ridiculous & childish comments here or anywhere else.

    You can say this or that but the bottom line is you have no case.

    Insulting Mugabe, the police or anyone will not suddenly turn that boy’s death into an arson.

    Your so called western friends who rely on evidence for anything are ashamed of your stupidity & that is why they have not published your stupid claims in their newspapers as they normally do.

    Its amazing you actually think you are making a point when all you are doing is showing how deluded you all are. You’re all a big embarrassment to Zimbabweans.

  31. To you all MDC fools, you are not doing your party or yourself any favours by making ridiculous & childish comments here or anywhere else.

    You can say this or that but the bottom line is you have no case.

    Insulting Mugabe, the police or anyone will not suddenly turn that boy’s death into an arson.

    Your so called western friends who rely on evidence for anything are ashamed of your stupidity & that is why they have not published your stupid claims in their newspapers as they normally do.

    Its amazing you actually think you are making a point when all you are doing is showing how deluded you all are. You’re all a big embarrassment to Zimbabweans.

  32. I notice all Mdc dimwits have come out to expose just how shallow their brains are.

    To you all MDC fools, you are not doing your party or yourself any favours by making ridiculous & childish comments here or anywhere else. You’re all a big embarrassment to Zimbabweans.

    You can say this or that but the bottom line is you have no case.

    Insulting Mugabe, the police or anyone will not suddenly turn that boy’s death into an arson.

    Your so called western friends who rely on evidence for anything are ashamed of your stupidity & that is why they have not published your stupid claims in their newspapers as they normally do.

    Its amazing you actually think you are making a point when all you are doing is showing how deluded you all are.

  33. Ammonium Nitrate in its form is not an explosive until it has been mixed with fuel and detonated, that is the bottom line, this is used by even small scale miners, rather illigal miners blasting underground, I do not agree with the findings of the police, that can not be the cause, paraffin, who in Zimbabwe is using paraffin when it can not be found anywhere

  34. pfutseki munonyepa ndiyani akamboshandisa torch for three years kulaita mudzimba. Musada kusapota nhema nekuti dzataurwa newekwenyu.

  35. why do we have to talk about ZRP making investigations?They never make investigations,manje mamasters avo tichavaona come election,they will smell the coffee.

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