Magistrate dismisses request by Mujuru family

Harare magistrate Walter Chikwanha on Monday dismissed an application by the family of the late army general Solomon Mujuru, who want an independent examination by a foreign based pathologist.

Walter Chikwanha
Walter Chikwanha

An official inquest is being held to determine the circumstances around Mujuru’s death in a farmhouse fire last August. Last week, Thakor Kewada, a lawyer representing the Mujuru family, filed a court application to allow a pathologist to travel to Zimbabwe, to examine all the evidence gathered so far.

Kewada argued that the request was inspired by past experiences, where results from more than one pathologist ‘usually differed.’ The magistrate however dismissed the request saying the application was ‘premature’ because the evidence from the local pathologists had not been put before the court yet.

The inquest has so far raised more questions than answers. The Mujuru family remain doubtful that the remains they buried were indeed those of the late general. Mujuru was buried without the family having confirmed the DNA results, which could have proved beyond doubt that the remains were his.

Mujuru’s daughter Kumbirai Rungano Mujuru said: “The DNA tests results have not been disclosed to the family. On August 24 last year, my blood samples were taken by Dr Fusire and were referred to Police General Headquarters.”

“They said they wanted to match them with my father’s DNA, but I was never told the results. I didn’t know the body was my father’s. Maybe the police knew who it was and as family we just accepted it was my father’s remains and we buried him,” she told the court on Friday.

Making things worse is that statements given by the witnesses who have testified so far are mostly contradictory. This is why the family now want independent and foreign pathologists to come and sift through the evidence. There is also a strong suggestion Mujuru’s remains could be exhumed to facilitate more tests. – SW Radio Africa

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