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‘Mujuru family won’t give up the fight’

Joel Mujuru, brother to the late General who died in a mysterious fire at his Beatrice farmhouse in August last year, told The Standard yesterday, the family was pleased with the ongoing inquest to establish the cause of his death.

“I am happy with the inquest because it has revealed that several mistakes were made in handling the body of Mujuru,” he said.

He however said the family was still not happy that the late General was buried before a proper identification of his remains was done.

“Why did they (government) rush to bury a body without doing the proper identification?” he asked.
“As a family, there was nothing we could do to stop them because we were confused and still in shock. They were supposed to give us time to decide what to do.”

A total of 36 witnesses have so far testified in the ongoing inquest which resumes tomorrow when Vice-President Joice Mujuru is expected to submit her affidavit.

On Friday last week, Mujuru’s family lawyer, Thakor Kewada, made an application for the exhumation of Mujuru’s remains buried at the National Heroes’ Acre to allow for a new autopsy.

This was after Cuban pathologist Dr Gonzales Alvero had admitted he conducted the autopsy without adequate instruments and made an assumption that Mujuru died of inhaling carbon monoxide.

He said he could not draw blood for examination given the charred state of the body. It was also revealed in court that Gonzales was not registered with the Health Professions Council as required by the law.

director of the forensic science laboratory, Bethwell Mutandiro, also said he failed to establish the cause of the fire and could not say whether or not a crime was committed.

He said although the cause of the fire could not be determined, he ruled out the possibility of inflammables such as matches, candles, vaseline, furniture cleaner or rat insecticide igniting the fire.

South African police forensic scientists who examined the debris from the burnt house also said they failed to detect the cause of the fire blaming it on possible contamination of evidence on the scene.

They said it was possible accelerants or inflammable materials were present at the fire scene, but these could not be detected due to poor packaging by local police officers who collected the samples.

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