- Published on 26 November 2014
- Written by Herald
VICE President Joice Mujuru has been sucked into a scandal involving abuse of office and obstruction of justice after her daughter Chipo Mujuru-Makoni was involved in a fatal road accident which claimed two lives along Enterprise Road in Harare.
The accident — which occurred on December 10, 2012 — claimed the life of the two-month-old son of an Iranian doctor Dr Amin Hamidzadeh and a Zimbabwean, Joseph Ngonji, who was driving Dr Hamidzadeh's wife, daughter and two sons.
Dr Hamidzadeh is assigned to the Iranian Red Crescent Clinic at Number 8 Cameron Street, Harare.
Chipo Mujuru Makoni, then an unlicensed driver, was behind the wheel of a Toyota Land Cruiser VX registration number AAT 9900 registered to Vice President Mujuru when she rammed the Toyota Corolla sedan with the Hamidzadehs on the side.
The impact sent the corolla flying onto the side of the road and the Hamidzadeh's youngest son, aged two months, was thrown from the vehicle and succumbed to his injuries 30 minutes after admission at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
The driver died on the spot, while Chipo was whisked from the scene by a security team, ostensibly acting on the instructions of her mother who was in Dubai at the time.
The accident occurred near the Harare Central Remand Prison entrance along Enterprise Road.
Police officers from Highlands Police Station attended the scene and recorded the accident the normal way noting the driver as Chipo Mujuru Makoni, and the owner of the offending vehicle as VP Mujuru.
Chipo failed to produce a driver's licence, only to bring one two weeks later which is suspected to have been expeditiously acquired in the intervening period.
When the Hamidzadehs made a follow-up at Highlands police, they discovered that the accident report had been significantly altered with the driver now listed as Chipo Makoni only, while the ownership of the vehicle had been changed to Government, a clear attempt to remove any link to the Mujuru name.
Highlands police told Dr Hamidzadeh, who was always in the company of the then Iranian ambassador HE Rasoul Momeni, that his case was now being handled by Mabvuku traffic, and he reportedly made over 30 trips to Mabvuku Police Station and found no joy as the officers there became very evasive.
The Red Crescent Society Clinic wrote several correspondences to the police registering their concern over the manner the force was handling their case.
In a letter of complaint by a Mr C Shoriwa from the society the organisation complained that while the case was straightforward the police were not keen to finalise it.
"We sadly, submit that on 10th of December 2012, this organization unnecessarily lost two innocent human lives, vehicle and three people were injured and still on cost full medication from a road traffic accident attended and recorded under CR Number 49/02/13 by ZRP Mabvuku Traffic section," said Mr Shoriwa.
"It is very disturbing to note that the first police report bears utmost true and correct details of parties to the accident but the second one is totally defective and misleading. Until now no one from the police has managed to clarify to us why."
Mr Shoriwa continued: "Efforts to have the case brought to court in the interest of justice are all being doomed to failure. Verbal responses from investigating officers at ZRP Mabvuku appear as if their hands are tied since the accused hereto is alleged to be a daughter of a high profile person hence the delay herewith.
"It is our strong submission to you that justice delayed is justice denied. What pains a lot in this case is that it is a clear and straighforward case and does not need a rocket scientist descent (sic) how the course of justice is being obstructed in connection herewith. Furthermore no single condolence has been received from accused herewith. Given the above circumstances, it is our heartfelt position that we are being denied the right to justice as required by the Constitution and laws of Zimbabwe wherefore the only hope will be that of external appeal."
It was after Dr Hamidzadeh threatened to appeal outside Zimbabwe for justice, that the police wrote to him on June 20 this year informing him that the matter was resolved on May 14 this year.
In a letter signed by Senior Assistant Commissioner Simon Nyathi advised Dr Hamidzadeh that the driver who they did not name was charged with culpable homicide and fined US$800 for the offence.
"Investigations were carried out and I wish to advise that the matter has since been finalized. The accused in the road accident, appeared before a Harare magistrate court on 14 May 2014. She was convicted on two counts of contravening section 49 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9: 23 "Culpable Homicide. Accused was sentenced to US$800 or 12 months imprisonment with labour for each count. In addition accused was prohibited from driving for 6 months. In view of the above the matter is now finalized," said Senior Asst Comm. Nyathi.
But sources close to the case said Dr Hamidzadeh believes the matter was finalised and the letter by Snr Asst Comm Nyathi was a ploy to silence them.
The aggrieved family, the sources said, believed that if the case went to court they were supposed to have been called as witnesses.
The conduct of the police appeared to mask the identity of VP Mujuru and her daughter.
Since the accident two years ago, Dr Hamidzadeh has visited Mabvuku police station over 30 times.
The aggrieved family also visited Highlands's police station several times over the matter. In all the cases the aggrieved family did not get joy from the police.
Police officers at Mabvuku police station would allegedly run away from Dr Hamidzadeh saying the case involved a child of a high-profile person.
A worker at the society who was also following up on the matter with police ran into trouble for pestering them inquiring about the case.
He ended up being locked up for three days without being charged. During the same time, Dr Hamidzadeh's house was broken into and the burglar took away his computer.
There was no sign of break and entry which implied a professional job. To date Dr Hamidzadeh has not received any messages of condolences from the Mujurus and he believes his family did not get the justice that they want. The family had written several letters to the police complaining.
Two years after the accident on December 10, 2012, Dr Hamidzadeh is battling to get justice after police failed to bring VP Mujuru's daughter to court for justice.
After strenuous efforts by Dr Hamidzadeh, on May 2 2013, Chipo Mujuru Makoni paid $7500 to Kantharia Insurance Brokers towards meeting the replacement of the Toyota Corolla that was written off in the accident.
But even then Dr Hamidzadeh did not get any joy as part of the money was converted to personal use by the Insurance Company that only remitted $5500 to him.
Dr Hamidzadeh refused to comment on the matter last night saying he would need to seek permission from the Iranian ambassador for him to talk to the Press.
Police could also not be reached for comment last night.
This is just one of the many cases that have seen ordinary people, emboldened by VP Mujuru's current circumstances after her exposure by First Lady Grace Mugabe, come out in the open to seek justice having been denied by the VP's alleged abuse of office to silence those whose toes she steps on.