Top Mujuru ally found dead in Zimbabwe

2015-06-09 12:21
Joice Mujuru (File: AP)

Joice Mujuru (File: AP)

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Harare - A top ally of Zimbabwe's sacked vice president Joice Mujuru was Tuesday found dead in his car at his farm outside Harare in what first reports said appeared to be a case of suicide.

The body of Amos Midzi - a former energy minister and ambassador to the US, who was suspended from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party just two weeks ago -was still locked in his car at his Marirangwe Farm at 11 am, more than two hours after it was first found, according to the acting editor-in-chief of the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

Midzi was 62.

"Body still locked in car at scene," Chris Chivinge tweeted. Unconfirmed reports said the car keys were missing.

Pictures from the scene showed the car Midzi was found in - registration number ACY 3329 - deep in thick bleached grass in a field.

Police and forensic experts were still at the farm investigating the scene.

The area around the car was "filled with the odour of suspected pesticide", state radio station PowerFM reported.

Midzi is believed to have died in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo confirmed Midzi's death, tweeting: "Sadly he's no more."

Midzi, who used to be a chairperson for Zanu-PF's Harare province, was suspended from the party last month as part of an ongoing party purge of those linked to Mujuru, who was ousted from her position last December. 

The official reason for her sacking was that she and her allies were plotting to unseat Mugabe, now 91.

Mujuru denies this.

Analysts say it is more likely that her popularity represented a threat to Mugabe's 35-year-long hold on power and his own plans for who is to succeed him.

Mujuru’s faction of the Zanu-PF is often referred to as the Gamatox faction. Gamatox is a brand of pesticide.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  joice mujuru  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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