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Family of Late Zimbabwe General Mujuru Wants Remains Exhumed in Probe

  • Thomas Chiripasi

Mujuru family attorney Thakor Kewada told the coroner presiding over the inquest into the death of the former army chief that the local pathologist who examined Mujuru's remains did not do his work professionally

The family of the late Zimbabwean Army General Solomon Mujuru, who died in a mysterious fire in his Beatrice farmhouse last August, said it wants his remains exhumed for further examination by an independent forensic pathologist.

Mujuru family attorney Thakor Kewada told the coroner presiding over the inquest into the death of the former Defense Forces commander that the local pathologist who examined Mujuru's remains did not carry out his work professionally.

Consequently, he told the inquest, the remains should be exhumed from the National Heroes Acre in Harare to allow for a second post-mortem.

Kewada told the court that pathologist Dr Gabriel Aguero Gonzalez, a Cuban doctor who gave his evidence in Spanish through an interpreter, was not a registered medical practitioner in Zimbabwe.

He argued that Gonzalez failed to meet internationally accepted standards of conduct of a post-mortem in examining Mujuru's remains.

The attorney said a South African pathologist hired by the Mujuru family, Dr. Reggie Perumel wanted to examine the remains before testifying in the inquest.

Gonzalez earlier testified that he could not conclusively say what had caused Mujuru’s death as he did not have the right professional tools for such an autopsy.

Gonzalez told the inquest his examination of Mujuru’s remains revealed the deceased had inhaled carbon monoxide that was discovered on the trachea.

Under questioning by Kewada, Gonzalez said he did not conduct an X-ray test of the charred remains of Mujuru. He confirmed seeing a wedding ring on Mujuru’s finger when he carried out his autopsy but said he did not know how that ring had disappeared.

Gonzalez testified that he could not collect blood samples for DNA tests because Mujuru's body had none remaining after the blaze. He added that the deceased's teeth were so fragile he could not take any for analysis.

Mujuru's widow, Vice President Joice Mujuru, was scheduled to testify Monday.

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