ZNA supplied Shiri gun

ZDFs General Chiwenga Serious among his top officers.
HARARE- Investigations by forensic experts have established that an AK 47 assault rifle used during the assassination attempt on Air Force of Zimbabwe commander, Perence Shiri was taken from the Zimbabwe National Army armoury at

Officers in the military told this newspaper that the investigations have hit a brick wall as there is no evidence of who signed out the weapon from the armoury and later returned it. It is standard procedure that all guns being removed from the armoury are signed out for by the officers and signed in after use but what is puzzling investigators is that although spent cartridges taken from the shooting scene were traced to a rifle at ZNA, nobody can explain how the rifle left the armoury and was returned without any trace, an officer close to the developments said.

Shiri, was the commander of the now-disbanded Fifth brigade which was responsible fo the bloodbath of the early 1980s in which more than 20 000 Ndebele speaking people were murdered for supporting PF ZAPU, led by the late vice president, Joshua Nkomo.

The shooting of Shiri appears to point at serious differences within the top brass of the security forces after ZDF commander, Constantine Chiwenga had a grenade removed from his green Mercedes Benz when he attended the Zanu PF annual conference in Bindura late last year.

Army insiders revealed in interviews that Chiwenga is being considered for retirement with Mugabe favouring the Butcher as Shiri was known during his bloodbath in Matabeleland and the Midlands as the next ZDF commander.

Shiri was shot on his palm and incurred shrapnel wounds on his body when gunmen ambushed him at Pote Bridge on December 13 last year in Shamva while coming from one of his several farms.

At a parade to honour the late Zvinavashe in March, his right palm was heavily bandaged, forcing him to salute with his left.

Meanwhile, officers from the Air Force finance directorate have expressed their anger following a decision by the directorate to spend US$65 000 on Shiris medical bills.

They told this newspaper that he had flown out of the country with three doctors from the Air Force three weeks ago and was believed to be in Cuba where Zvinavashe was treated before he died. We feel that such a huge amount of money is too much for the treatment of gunshot wounds unless if there are other ailments that are not known to us which are now being incorporated into the medical bill.

The huge delegation of doctors is not necessary because the assumption is that the foreign doctors will provide him with treatment. As we speak, officers from the three main bases of the Air Force are eating beans and cabbages in the camps while a lot of money is being blown on the commander who in any case should be able to pay for his treatment, complained one officer. Air Vice Marshal Henry Muchena has been acting air marshal since December last year.

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