Two guns found next to Mujuru’s body

The inquest into the death of retired General, Solomon Mujuru took a dramatic turn on Thursday when it was revealed that two firearms and a magazine of bullets were found next to his charred remains.

Police Chief Superintendent, Crispen Makedenge told the inquest in Harare that one of the weapons discovered was an AK 47 rifle. He did not disclose the details of the second weapon. Both guns were however badly burned from the fire that engulfed the house.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said that on further inspection of the burned out house, Makedenge discovered 13 more weapons in a gun cabinet in the general’s bedroom. The inquest is being held before Harare Provincial Magistrate Walter Chikwanha.

Muchemwa said Makadenge’s brief testimony raised more questions than answers during his 10 minute appearance. The senior police officer will take to the witness stand on Friday to continue with his testimony before cross examination.

“We have information that either Makedenge or a ballistic weapons expert will testify that three spent bullet cartridges were also recovered near the general’s remains,” Muchemwa reported.

He added: “Questions are also being asked why those two guns were near the general and not in the gun cabinet. Was he protecting himself from some danger…is what people were asking after Makedenge’s testimony.”

Two witnesses have already told the inquest that they heard sound of gunfire moments before they were alerted to a fire that destroyed the former Zimbabwe National Army commander’s farmhouse.

Rosemary Short, a maid at the farmhouse and Clemence Runhare, a private guard at the property also told the inquest they heard gunshots before they rushed to the house to try and douse the fire.

Meanwhile, a ZESA employee testified on Thursday and ruled out an electrical fault as the cause of the fire.

Giving evidence during the inquest Douglas Chiredza Nyakungu, ZESA Consumer Services Officer for Beatrice area, said he noticed that there were two circuit breakers that had tripped on the Meter Circuit Board situated along the passage.

He however could not ascertain which breakers had tripped because the labels had been badly burnt.

“Circuit breakers distributing power to the geyser, water pump, tobacco barns and kitchen remained sound, ruling out fears that an electrical fault inside the house could have caused the fire,” Nyakungu said

He added that the circuit breakers could have tripped as a result of the socket outlets and lamp holders, which were badly burnt.

He explained that Mujuru’s house had metal electrical pipes, which, in the event of a fault, would have exhibited some holes or damage due to a short circuit. But an inspection of the wiring system found no evidence of damage.

Nyakungu stated that on further investigations he concluded that there were no high currency carrying appliances such as heaters at the time of the fateful incident.

Evidence by Nyakungu who is the 27th witness came after the Fire Brigade Station Officer Clever Matoti, had suggested that a fire such as the one at Mujuru’s farm could have been caused by an act of arson.

He said it was rare for a fire in a house to start in two separate rooms at the same time unless it was an act of arson.

Matoti said a combination of oxygen, hydrogen and heated ceiling dust can explode leading to a house fire especially in hot seasons.

He said the type of fire in which Mujuru is believed to have died could have been caused by petroleum substances because it was extensive, leading to the collapse of the roof of two rooms. SW Radio Africa

Post published in: Africa News

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