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Munatsi death: Police quiz last contact

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Police have located and interviewed a woman only identified as Colleta, in connection with the death of prominent banker Mr Douglas Munatsi on November 29.

Mr Munatsi died in a mysterious fire at his upmarket Harare apartment and Colleta is believed to have been the last person to see him alive.

Investigators are still awaiting the autopsy and toxicology examination results and have so far questioned several other people in connection with the case.

Mr Munatsi, who was the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA), was said to have been alone in his penthouse at the upmarket Northfields apartments in the capital when an inferno engulfed his main bedroom.

Authorities are still trying to ascertain the cause of the fire and death through the pending post-mortem results as well as reports from the Forensic Unit and Fire Brigade.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said Colleta had since been interviewed and released.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has located Colleta and interviewed her. At the moment, police are still conducting investigations and will release full details once investigations are complete.

“We will advise the public accordingly once the toxicology examination results are out,” he said.

Among those that have been interviewed are the informant Mr Charles Gardner (32) of Northfields flats, a security guard at the flats Mr Shupai Zifunge (47) and Mr Martin Chitura (41) of Borrowdale who was employed by Mr Munatsi as a driver.

Others are Saurosi Marichambo (53) who was employed by Mr Munatsi as a chef and the deceased’s younger brother Cardmelon Munatsi (47).

Investigations have so far revealed that Mr Gardner, who resides in the neighbouring apartment, heard an explosion-like noise at around 0250hours and he woke up.

Mr Gardner went to the balcony to check where the noise was coming from and saw smoke coming out of Mr Munatsi’s apartment.

He also heard a voice that was shouting for help.

He contacted the Fire Brigade who arrived at the scene in less than 20 minutes and put out the inferno after a few hours.

All furniture, windows and doors in the main bedroom were extensively burnt and Mr Munatsi’s body was found with some burns on the hands and legs.

Police launched a search for Colleta after Zifunge revealed that he last saw Mr Munatsi at around 6.20pm on November 28 when he told him that he was expecting her at the flat.

Munatsi is said to have asked Zifunge to escort Colleta to his flat when she arrived and she reportedly left the flat around 9.18pm on foot.

Zifunge added that on November 29, at around 3am, he heard an explosion and he went out of the guardroom and saw Gardner running downstairs saying there was a fire in flat number C9.

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