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Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Party Tense Following Another Suspicious Farm Fire


ZANU-PF sources said the fire has kindled concern as it came less than a fortnight after former Defense Forces commander Solomon Mujuru’s charred remains were found in the ruins of his Beatrice farmhouse

Sources in Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF say the atmosphere is tense in the former ruling party following a fire Sunday at a poultry farm in Borrowdale, Harare, owned by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, which gutted a warehouse.

The ZANU-PF sources said the fire has kindled concern because it came less than two weeks after former Defense Forces commander Solomon Mujuru’s charred remains were found in the ruins of his Beatrice farmhouse, which burned down mysteriously late on August 16.

Police national spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said the investigation into Mujuru’s death is close to completion. The death sparked widespread speculation that Mujuru was murdered – his widow, Vice President Joice Mujuru recently said she suspects foul play.

Neither Bvudzijena nor Inspector James Sabau, Harare police spokesman, would comment further on the fire at Gono’s farm, said to have caused damage totaling US$100,000.

Political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that pressure is on the police to restore public confidence with the investigation results.

Elsewhere, police officers from the law and order section in Harare on Monday summoned and questioned Zimbabwe Independent editor Constantine Chimakure and senior political reporter Wongai Zhangazha, demanding that they disclose their sources for a story that appeared in the paper last month reporting on Cabinet discussions, considered secret.

The report said both formations of the Movement for Democratic Change resisted attempts by Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere to re-launch the national youth service program which gave rise to the ZANU-PF-aligned youth militia implicated in deadly 2008 election violence.

Police sources said the force is under pressure from ZANU-PF officials to pin down MDC ministers alleged to have spoken with reporters about deliberations in the cabinet.

Police had gone to the Independent’s offices on three occasions seeking the journalists.

Chief Executive Officer Raphael Khumalo of Alpha Media Holdings, publisher of the Independent, said his editorial staff will not release the names of sources.

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