Bigwigs snub Kuwaza burial

HARARE - The burial of long-serving former top civil servant Charles Kuwaza in Harare yesterday was most notable for the absence of senior Zanu PF and government officials.

The 63-year-old Kuwaza — who died on Independence Day under disputed circumstances — was interred at the Glen Forest Memorial Park.

A surprisingly small gathering, predominantly made up of relatives and a few close friends, was present to witness his burial — amid swirling speculation over circumstances surrounding his death.

Not one Cabinet minister or notable Zanu PF bigwig — among the thousands of ruling party overlords which he had interacted with during his long tenure in government — made themselves available to give him a fitting send-off.

Kuwaza plunged nine floors to his death on Tuesday, from a high-rise Harare building, amid suggestions that he may have committed suicide.

However, his family and close friends have raised doubts about the claims, saying it was “inconceivable” that Kuwaza — who was known as “a hard man” — could have decided to end his life as suspected.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti, who worked closely with Kuwaza during the era of the government of national unity, was among the people who said it was unfathomable that he could have committed suicide.

“A fine chess player with a strong mind. He can’t possibly commit suicide,” Biti wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter upon learning of Kuwaza’s death.

But family members also said that they would allow police to conclude their investigations before they commented officially about the circumstances surrounding his death.

Police were yet to make public their findings, amid the swirling speculation that Kuwaza may have been murdered.

He was out on bail in a fraud case involving at least $1 million when he died.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to the Daily News on the day he died said Kuwaza had been in the company of a woman, believed to be his wife when he died.

He had apparently left his wife in the parking lot at Club Chambers, while he went into the building to collect some documents to help with his defence in the fraud case.

Kuwaza, also a former Zimbabwe Chess Federation president, was freed on $2 000 bail in absentia late last month after he fell ill, forcing the ensuing court proceedings to be conducted at a local clinic where he was receiving medical assistance.

He was facing one count of theft, two counts of fraud and two counts of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

Prosecutors alleged that during his time at the State Procurement Board where he was executive chairman, Kuwaza had engaged in several criminal activities which had prejudiced the State.

He had previously served as the permanent secretary for the ministries of Finance and Defence between 1994 and 2000.

Kuwaza was a renowned chess player who not only distinguished himself nationally but also internationally, winning several awards.

Comments (2)

ZANU chiwororo inodya vana vayo, chi party ichi chinotyisa. If you belong to that party you may come out dead.

chiwara - 22 April 2017

God is just destroying this monster that has made Zimbos to spread around the world. ZANU PF is a dying monster, its dead. See they are killing each other, come 2018 kunosara Grace ega kkkk

Mwazha - 22 April 2017

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