Mental strain, tears at memorial service for CIO District Intelligence Officer killed during November coup

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THE memorial of District Intelligence Officer (DIO) Peter Munetsi who was allegedly killed during the military operation that toppled former President Robert Mugabe was held last Saturday in Harare.

Two months on, it was clear that his relatives and friends still find it hard “believe he is gone”. The service, which started at 10 am until 1pm, was characterised by many tense, teary and brief speeches.

Late District Intelligence Officer (DIO) Peter Munetsi

The widow, Rose, described Munetsi as a loving and romantic husband who would text during office hours just to remind her of his love.

“I thought I could stand here and speak without crying but it seems impossible,” said Patience Munetsi, the late CIO spy’s daughter crying. “We thank you all particularly church and family for the support, you never left us. I have a lot to say but today it looks like I am overwhelmed.”

Not even one of the close family members including his wife, Rose, children or friends managed to last two minutes of speaking.

“I can’t say much, if I keep taking uuumm, it is difficult for this wound to heal,” said Munetsi’s sister who quickly handed back the microphone as she fought back tears.

Peter’s son Kudzi Munetsi said, “I just arrived (from unspecified). I passed by his grave to see him, just to check how he is doing. It’s hard. I’m still in pain but there was nothing he could do. That’s the way for all of us. Thank you. I end here.”

Although they had touching messages on how he lived, none of the 14 speakers said anything on how the late intelligence officer died reinforcing the suspicion that he was killed during the “smart” and “bloodless” coup.

Several family members declined interviews with journalists. Some gave trivial excuses while others cited security concerns.

There appeared to be more than enough state spies at the ceremony who kept tailing journalists and key family members to ensure they could not discuss more than what was “necessary”.

However, anyone who attended the ceremony could pick one common thread in the speakers’ speeches—the unexpected and abrupt end to Munetsi’s life which left them seriously shaken.

Exiled ex-minister Jonathan Moyo tweeted claiming, apart from Munetsi, several other people were killed, assaulted while many women were raped during the coup. On the day of the coup reports said one of then finance minister Ignatius Chombo's guards had been killed.

He demanded that president Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy, retired army commander Constantino Chiwenga, explain Munetsi’s death.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba responded describing the claims as fallacious adding that he had no time for a “bitter loser”.

– NewZimbabwe


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