Thursday, February 28, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) No proof of foul play: fire death cops

No proof of foul play: fire death cops
27/02/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporters

POLICE have ruled out foul play in the fire death of a 12-year-old Headlands boy which has stoked political tensions in the country with the MDC-T accused of turning the tragedy into an election campaign event.

The party confirmed that its leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai would attend Thursday’s funeral of Christpower Maisiri (12) whose dad is the party’s local organising secretary. The youth died when a fire gutted a thatched hut in which he slept with siblings last Saturday.

The MDC-T was said to have barricaded the Maisiri family home in Headlands, near Rusape, ahead of Thursday’s funeral with campaign posters featuring Tsvangirai posted around the area.

The party blames Zanu PF for the attack which dominated Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting amid fears of renewed violence ahead of fresh elections later this year.

“(On Tuesday) we spent four hours in cabinet deliberating … the resurgence of all the bad habits that were there before the inclusive government. The tragic and horrifying murder of this young boy is perhaps the most traumatic but every day we have such issues,” MDC leader Welshman Ncube told a public meeting in Harare Wednesday.

"President (Robert) Mugabe repeatedly said these things should not be happening. (He said) if it’s Zanu PF people doing it they must be dealt with. The police are told again and again but it doesn’t stop.

"(But) one of the most interesting things to come out of the Cabinet meeting was that ministers thought to be sponsoring violence were (confronted) accused directly and told that ‘you are a merchant of violence’. That opportunity was not there in 2008.”

Zanu PF has denied any involvement in the attack as police revealed that preliminary investigations had ruled out the possibility of foul play.

“At the moment we cannot point fingers at anyone. This emanates from our preliminary investigations so far which indicate that no foul play had taken place,” deputy national police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said.

“Basing on our preliminary investigations there is no pointer or clue to suggest that the incident was politically motivated.

“Right now investigations are in full swing. We have embarked on thorough investigations because we need to get to the bottom of the incident by all means.”

Information Minister Webster Shamu said the Cabinet had ordered the police to establish the cause of the tragedy.

“The nation may wish to know that Cabinet has directed the Co- Ministers of Home Affairs to institute thorough investigations through the relevant arms so that the nation gets full facts surrounding the incident and for justice to be done,” he said.

“Our society is founded on the principle of sanctity of life and any actions that are shown to undermine this sacred principle will attract the full weight of the law.”

Zimbabwe will later this year hold elections to end the uneasy coalition between Mugabe and Tsvangirai and both leaders have repeatedly appealed to supporters to ensure there was no repeat of the violence experienced in 2008.

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