Zimbabwe general's killer blaze mystery

2012-01-30 19:18

Special Report

Donkey reflectors! Vets' bright bid to stop Zimbabwe's donkey road carnage
Donkey reflectors! Vets' bright bid to stop Zimbabwe's donkey road carnage

It's a grim sight along roads leading to the Beitbridge border post in Zimbabwe: donkeys, killed or maimed by drivers travelling at night. So a group of vets in Zimbabwe has come up with a simple, inexpensive solution.

Harare - Investigators could not find out what caused the fire that killed former Zimbabwean army chief Solomon Mujuru last year, a forensic expert said on Monday.

"The cause of the fire could not be determined," Bothwell Mutandiro, director of the police forensic section, told an inquest into the death of Mujuru in a mysterious inferno in August last year.

"No accelerants or explosives" were found near the scene of Mujuru's death, according to Mutandiro.

The former army chief was widely seen as a king maker in Mugabe's party and was respected across Zimbabwe's political divide.

His death was followed by speculation that the influential politician was killed by somebody within his party, and that his death in the fire was not accidental.

Magistrate Walter Chikwanha on Monday postponed ruling on a Mujuru family request for an independent pathologist from South Africa to testify.

"I will not grant or dismiss the application but the local pathologist should come and testify first and we hear what he says," Chikwanha said.

"If he testifies then we will consider the request by the family lawyer to bring a South African pathologist, but the family lawyer should justify why it is necessary to have him come and testify."

Also known by his war name Rex Nhongo, Mujuru led Zimbabwe's liberation forces during the 1970s bush war against the Rhodesian government.

After independence in 1980, he became the army chief. Until his death at age 62, he remained an influential member of the ruling Zanu-PF amid internal rivalries and tensions after violent and inconclusive presidential elections in 2008.

He was respected as one of the few people able to speak frankly to President Robert Mugabe about ending political violence against Mugabe's opponents.

Lawmakers, including his wife Vice-President Joice Mujuru, have queried how he could have failed to escape from the burning house through various low-level windows.

Read more on:    solomon mujuru  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.