By A Correspondent- Circumstances surrounding the death of Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency CEO, Douglas Munatsi, on Monday morning in a house fire has left many people suspecting foul play.
They say if he was not immobilised or held against his will, the prominent banker could have escaped the fire that engulfed his luxurious 9th-floor penthouse using various routes that were available to him.
Sources, including friends and relatives, say his death was murder and are anxiously awaiting the results of a post-mortem which was conducted at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare on Thursday.
While a memorial service for Munatsi was scheduled for Saturday at Celebration Centre in Borrowdale, his burial has been postponed pending further investigations into his mysterious death.
Part of the reasons why there has been a delay in burial, other than waiting for his wife and children who live in South Africa and England, was the need for investigations to establish the cause of his death, amid strong suspicions of foul play.
Following an initial investigation, pathologists have recommended a toxicology examination to determine if Munatsi was not drugged or poisoned prior to his death. Munatsi’s friend told a local publication:
He could have also escaped through the main entrance but suppose he was asleep and woke up when the fire was intense, he could have easily gone to the jacuzzi. The easiest route to escape though was through the balcony and we wonder why he did not escape if he was able to alert a neighbour that there was fire.
His body was very intact, suggesting that the fire did not really burn him and the injuries he sustained suggested that the heat affected him, but not the direct fire. If he was fully conscious and functioning properly, he could have surely utilised one of the available options to escape.
According to a police situation report, the fire was concentrated in the bedroom and was so intense that “the main bedroom was extensively damaged by fire to the extent that all windows and doors were broken, all the furniture in the bedroom were extensively burnt that only steel frames for the bed and built-in cupboards were observed.”
Friends and relatives believe an accelerant could have been used, given the intensity of the fire.
They are sceptical that the person who called out for help when a neighbour asked what was going on was
They suspect he was immobilised, drugged or held against his will.