Murder case involving Mohadi remains unresolved

kembo_mohadiEvery Tuesday SW Radio Africa will be looking at some of Zimbabwes unsolved and deliberately ignored cases of political violence, torture, murder and other forms of abuse, by people in positions of authority. (Pictured: Kembo Mohadi)

This week we start with the co-Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi, who in 1999 was implicated in the murder of Lutheran World Federation employee Strover Mutonhori. Up to this date the case seems to have died a natural death. It was reported that Mutonhori worked with Mohadis wife and the two allegedly had an affair. Mutonhori disappeared from the Omadu Hotel in Kezi, only for his remains to be found in Mzingwane outside Bulawayo. Soon after the murder, family members were harassed by suspected state security agents.

In May 2001 a team of police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department travelled to South Africa and interviewed a number of people in connection with the murder. The matter was transferred from Matabeleland South to the Special Investigating Branch at the Police General Headquarters in Harare. The officer investigating was identified as Chief Superintendent C. R. Gora.

Although police finally interviewed Mohadi, who was then Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, he was later promoted to Home Affairs Minister in 2002. This effectively put a stop to any chance of a proper investigation, since the police fell under his Ministry.

“I did not appoint myself Minister. The Mutonhori family is free to contact me or my lawyers, instead of communicating with me through the Press, Mohadi told journalists. Mutonhoris family have kept up the fight for justice. In January 2007 they sought the intervention of the Attorney General and the President’s Office to try and open up investigations into the murder case. But it was reported that the docket for the case disappeared and the evidence tampered with.

Mohadi remains co-Home Affairs Minister and is in charge of the same police force that is supposed to be investigating him. The Mutonhori family meanwhile say their best chance for justice is either a cabinet reshuffle or a new government. Last year in March Jane Dongo, a family member, wrote an open letter to Mohadi saying; It is now 10 years since my uncle Strover Mutonhori was murdered, but we are still waiting for the Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi, to prove that there is rule of law, justice and that he has not covered up his own tracks in this murder case.

Dongo said she had, written several letters, one through the Zimbabwean embassy in London, and several directly to him in Harare but no reply. I call upon Mr. Mohadi to come clean and be proven innocent in the courts so that we can put this case to rest. She even quoted remarks by then Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa who in 1999 said Zimbabwe will not tolerate a situation where people are kidnapped and murdered. The culprit will definitely be brought to book. It has been brought by a colleague in our weekly Cabinet meeting and there will not be any cover up. Sadly, the Mutonhori family still wait for justice.

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