Blue Flames on Mujuru's Burning Body: Witnesses
The revelations were made at the inquest of Mujuru at the magistrate’s court by two police officers from Beatrice police station who first attended to a fire report on Allaimaine or Ruzambo farm in Beatrice. The police officers said Mujuru’s body was facing the earth resting on tummy when the “intense fire” was finally put out.
“We had no vehicle at the police station,” Constable Cletwell Garisai who went to Allaimaine farm to do a follow up on a report that Mujuru’s farmhouse was on fire confirmed.
“I saw the body lying facing downwards on the floor with a bluish flame coming from the area of the stomach. The body had been burnt from below the chest into the stomach, the fire was so intense that the body was burnt inside the stomach,” Garisai added.
Asked by the family lawyer Tekor Kewada if there were other people other than the police who went into the room where Mujuru’s body lay lifeless, Garisai said close relatives and senior government officials who include Mujuru’s widow Vice President Joice Mujuru went into the room where the corpse was.
“A number of people got into the room where the body was lying, some of them identified themselves as government ministers. I remember minister Kembo Mohadi was in the room and David Parirenytwa was in the room as well,”Garisai said.
Assistant Inspector Jokonia Zaza from Beatrice police station also confirmed in his testimony that their police station had no vehicle at the time when Mujuru died in a fire. When asked by Kewada if he saw any forensic experts at the scene of the accident after Mujuru had died. Zaza said:”At that time we had more than a month without a motor vehicle, our vehicle had been sent to Chivhu for repairs.I did not see any pathologist or doctor to my recollection.”
Inspector Simon Dube, the officer in charge of the Beatrice police station told the court that he was awoken up at 03:12 hours at his home by his juniors with the news that Mujuru’s farm house was on fire. He said the police station did not have a vehicle and they had to phone a nearby farmer to borrow a car which they were given.
He said he rushed to Allaimaine farm where he took charge of instructing people to rush with water buckets to douse off fire which was mainly concentrated in Mujuru’s bedroom.
“I saw fire burning from the side of the stomach going sideways,” Dube said who took oath raising his right clenched fist. “The body was lying prone facing downwards; the fire was coming from the sides of the abdomen. The fire was rather bluish in colour; the body was lying on its tummy. The area covering the chest still had flesh and the area below the chest and the lungs was burnt out.”
“As for the head, you could see the skull; all the skin on the head had been burnt. We had to use quite a number of buckets full of water to put out the fire, “he added.
Dube said he called the fire brigade to attend the scene of the fire although the fire fighters arrived without water in their trucks.
Surprisingly he told the court that he called the State house to check whether the fire brigade was on its way. He added that a police team was headed by police Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge of the law and order section in Harare.
“I had also to confirm with State House whether the fire brigade had been called to attend to the scene of the fire,” Dube said. “CID (Criminal Investigation Department) officers arrived at the scene and they were being led by Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge. He (Makedenge) came with the ZRP forensic team but I cannot recall their names,” Dube said.
“It was the Chief Superintendent (Makedenge) who took over to manage the scene.”
The Mujuru inquest hearing was attended by senior Zanu PF officials who include Tendai Savanhu, Munacho Mutezo and academic Ibbo Mandaza.The hearing continues Wednesday with experts from police, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority official and fire brigade testifying.