Manicaland and Rusape police have launched full scale investigations into the murder of Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial secretary for labour and production Nathaniel Mhiripiri, a close ally of the Midlands godfather, Emmerson D Mnangagwa.
Mhiripiri (67) was found dead at his Aberd Farm on Tuesday after he went missing last Saturday.
His decomposing body was found near a stream, a few metres from the main road which lead to his farm house.
Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa, said investigations were underway.
Detectives handling the case revealed that on the day in question at around 9am, Cde Mhiripiri left home proceeding to Rusape to attend a funeral.
He was in the company of his wife, Tabeth Murefu (22), and the couple used public transport to Rusape where they parted as his wife proceeded to Headlands.
Mhiripiri then attended a funeral at Revai Mbaimbai’s homestead in Tikwiri Farm which is located about 15km from his farm. He used his motorcycle to travel to the funeral.
At around 7pm, Mhiripiri left the funeral and drove his motorbike back to his farm. He was alone. From that moment, he was not seen again prompting his daughter, Munashe Mhiripiri to make a report at ZRP Rusape Central on March 13. His family also failed to reach him on his mobile phone.
The following day at around 10am police officers went to his farm investigating the missing person report.
At the farm, the officers interviewed his workers and they were told that they had seen motorcycle marks along the gravel road which connects Mutare-Rusape Road to the farm house. A search was made around the area leading to the recovery of his decomposing body.
Investigations carried out on the scene revealed that there were marks on the surface of the dust road which are consistent with a skidding motorcycle.
However, the detectives could not establish the nature of injuries on the deceased’s body due to the advanced state of decomposition. It was, however, apparent that the head was swollen as well as the right lower arm. The skin was peeling off.
Detectives could not link the crime to robbery as they found the deceased with cash and his particulars. They found a brown wallet containing his national identification card, two CABS ATM cards and $50 cash.
As the detectives investigated further they found his motorcycle at his office at Number 1311, Mabvazuva, Rusape which is about 12km from the scene. The bike did not have any damages and there was no indication that it was involved in an accident. Police are yet to know who parked it at his office.
However, interviews done by the detectives revealed that Mhiripiri was not in good books with his sons, Farai, whom the police failed to locate. Farai is a wanted person in connection with an unlawful entry charge in which Mhiripiri was the complainant.
More details follow…