FORMER Mines minister Amos Midzi, a staunch ally of ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru, was found dead yesterday morning in a suspected case of poisoning.
BY MOSES MATENGA
The former Zanu PF Harare chairperson’s mysterious death has been linked to his recent suspension from the ruling party for allegedly working with Mujuru to topple President Robert Mugabe.
Midzi’s body was found inside his locked car at the family farm in Beatrice, about 30km outside Harare. The keys were found under a mat.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said investigators found poisonous substances and sleeping tablets at the scene.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm the death of Amos Midzi in a suspected poisoning case, which occurred in the morning of 9th June 2015 at Munandi Farm, Beatrice,” Charamba said. “The body was inspected and no injuries were noted.
(A) one-litre container of a liquid, methanadophos (insecticide), which was three-quarters full, dormicum tablets and a cup containing a bluish liquid were found in the vehicle.”
Midzi, who would have turned 63 next month, was among Zanu PF’s long-serving members who were last month slapped with five-year suspensions for allegedly plotting to assassinate Mugabe and replace him with Mujuru.
Former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, who now speaks on behalf of the victims of the party’s unprecedented purge, described Midzi’s death as shocking.
“We are saddened by the development. I had not seen him for a while, but we understand he was devastated by what took place in the party,” he said. “It’s sad and tragic that this has happened.”
Midzi’s brother, Stanley, said the family was still trying to come to terms with the death. “We have lost a pillar in the family. We have been robbed of someone with lots of love, someone who gave us guidance as a family,” he said at the farm. “He had been in politics for some time now.”
When NewsDay arrived at the scene around mid-morning yesterday, police and pathologists were still carrying out forensic tests and family members were initially denied access to the body.
Mbare MP Tendai Savanhu, who was a close political ally of the late Midzi, was also present together with former Zanu PF central committee member Noah Mangondo and former Harare deputy chairperson Christopher Chigumba.
Midzi’s workers said the former Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson arrived at the farm around midnight and left before dawn.
“When he left, we called after a few hours to check whether he had arrived home only to be told that he was not there,” one of the workers said. “That is when we traced the car to this spot.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said he had not yet received official communication on Midzi’s death from the Harare provincial executive.
“I am not officially told of the death, I have not confirmed that myself, but I have heard about it,” he said.
Midzi also previously served as ambassador to the United States.
He was recently suspended for five years together with former Transport minister Nicholas Goche, Savanhu (Agriculture deputy minister), Jason Machaya (Midlands Provincial Affairs minister), Kalisto Gwanetsa (former Masvingo provincial chairman), Mangondo (central committee member) and Munacho Mutezo (former Energy deputy minister), among others.
After his suspension, Midzi pledged to remain loyal to Zanu PF even though he had not expected to be suspended.
Midzi becomes the fourth senior Zanu PF official to die under a cloud after being entangled in political and government-related problems. Others are former Education minister Edmund Garwe (2001), ex-Transport minister Enos Chikowore (2005) and former National Affairs minister Maurice Nyagumbo (1989), who committed suicide after being implicated in scandals.