Zimbabwe's Attorney General Johannes Tomana has declared investigations into the suspicious death last August of retired army General Solomon Mujuru closed, citing conclusions by an inquest that there was no foul play, despite speculation to the contrary.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper quotes Tomana as saying the findings of the inquest are “well-reasoned and sound” and declaring the case a “closed and completed matter”.
But the Mujuru family has vowed to appeal the inquest ruling and proceed with plans to have the late general and President Robert Mugabe's former ruling ZANU-PF kingmaker’s remains exhumed for examinations by independent pathologists. Mujuru is buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
General Mujuru, 66, died in an inferno at his Beatrice farmhouse just outside the capital Harare under mysterious circumstances. In his verdict magistrate Walter Chikwanha, who led the inquest, concluded that there was no foul play in the death of the country’s most decorated soldier.
Chikwanha’s verdict reads in part that, “Despite the suppositions, speculations, conjectures and suspicions by various people including the deceased’s relatives, nothing concrete and no evidence at all was placed before the court to show that there was foul play in the death of the deceased.”
Tomana told the state controlled and ZANU-PF leaning Herald newspaper that he agrees with the findings and has instructed the police to close the docket. Magistrate Chikwanha concluded from evidence gathered during the inquest that the general died of smoke inhalation.
Mujuru family lawyer, Advocate Thakor Kewada told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that the family differs with the state’s conclusion and will soon appeal.
Chairman Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly, a constitutional law expert, says the Mujuru family can appeal but success is not guaranteed.
Mujuru led liberation fighters who fought against Zimbabwe's whites-only government in the 1970s.
In recent years, he was seen as a power broker in President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, and was considered one of the few people who could speak frankly to the president, who has been in power for more than 30 years.