“The prerogative to summon witnesses in this case lies with the presiding magistrate. As the presiding magistrate I have already subpoenaed all the witnesses who are suitable for the inquest. I have among the witnesses subpoenaed a pathologist who examined the body of the deceased who is yet to testify. While I will not oppose to the calling of other witnesses they should add value in the inquest,” said the magistrate.
“We will consider your application after we have heard from the first pathologist and you should also justify why the opinion of a second pathologist is important,” added Chikanha while dismissing the Mujuru’s request Monday.
The Mujuru family through their lawyer, Thekor kewada, said the request for another pathologist would result in ‘credible results’ after former army commander was buried before forensic examinations to establish he was indeed the one who died in the inferno.
Commenting on the decision to throw away their request the Mujuru Kewada said:
“I must confess that I am disappointed because the indication that the magistrate gave me when I had a meeting with him and the prosecutors was that he will not object but give his ruling today. I was hoping that we could combine the two that is having the local pathologist here giving evidence with the South African pathologist sitting in.
“I had also requested the magistrate to call the South African pathologist because he is the one who has that mandate, but this has not been granted…” Kewada told reporters on Monday.
The high profile inquest on Monday saw the 32nd witnesses Bethwell Takura Mutandiro, the Director of Forensic Science laboratory in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, giving evidence. He said his team failed to detect the cause of the fire that gutted the house of the late General Mujuru.
The inquest has been adjourned to Thursday when South African forensic Scientists are expected to testify.