Business, Finance & Economics

Zimbabwe: Inquest into Solomon Mujuru's death begins


Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru (C) leaves the court on Jan. 16, 2012 at the end of first day of the inquest into the death of her husband, former army chief Solomon Mujuru, who was killed Aug. 2011 in a mysterious inferno at his farmhouse in Beatrice, south of Harare. His death deepened the divide within Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, where the general's wife leads a more moderate faction of ZANU-PF.


Jekesia Njikizana

NAIROBI, Kenya — A public inquest into the mysterious death of Solomon Mujuru, a retired general, independence hero and husband of vice-president Joice Mujuru is underway at Harare. 

More from GlobalPost: Zimbabwe: Death of Gen Solomon Mujuru sets off political turmoil

Mujuru's death in an inferno at his rural home last August has been viewed with suspicion from the beginning.

After all, Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe is a place where deadly accidents befall senior figures with notable regularity, particularly those who are seen as political opposition.

More from GlobalPost: Zimbabwe: Who killed Gen Solomon Mujuru?

Although not an active politician himself, the retired general was a popular figure, seen as something of a kingmaker who could be counted on to win support for his wife who heads a more reformist minded faction of Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF. The other more conservative faction is headed by Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe's News Day reports that Mujuru's maid heard gunshots before the fire started.

"The housemaid of the late Retired Army General Solomon Mujuru, Rosemary Shoti, yesterday became the second witness during the inquest into his death to reveal she heard sounds akin to gunshots in the dead of night before she was awakened only to be told the main house at the farm was up in flames."

The inquest continues...