Ivan Zhakata-Herald Correspondent
Prominent banker and businessman Mr Douglas Munatsi, who died in a mysterious fire at his flat in Harare on Monday, has been accorded a State-assisted funeral.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said the State would cater for all the costs for Mr Munatsi’s funeral.
“His Excellency, the President, Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa, has directed that the late Douglas Munatsi who passed on earlier in the week be accorded a State-assisted funeral.
“The Office of the President and Cabinet will liaise with the bereaved Munatsi family to ensure this directive by His Excellency the President is effected.
“The Office continues to stand by the bereaved Munatsi family during this very difficult time,” he said.
Mr Munatsi’s family is yet to decide his burial arrangements.
Family spokesperson Mr Teddy Gazi said they would be issuing a statement on the burial arrangements for Mr Munatsi.
“We will be giving you a written statement as soon as we sit down as a family,” he said.
Police have said they are keen to interview a woman believed to be among the last people to see Mr Munatsi alive before his death in a mysterious fire at his Harare apartment early Monday morning.
They have since questioned at least five people in connection with the case. Mr Munatsi was the chief executive for the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).
It is understood the businessman was alone in his penthouse at the upmarket Northfields apartments in Harare when a fire engulfed his room.
Among those that have been interviewed are the informant and neighbour Mr Charles (32), a security guard at the flats Shupai Zifunge (47) and Martin Chitura (41) of Borrowdale who was employed by Mr Munatsi as a personal driver.
Others are Saurosi Marichambo (53) who was employed by the now deceased as a chef since 2020 and the deceased’s younger brother Cardmelon Munatsi (47) of Kunatsa Estates, Matepatepa area.
They all informed the police the last time they had communicated with Mr Munatsi. The matter is being handled by detectives from CID Homicide.
Mr Gardner resides on the 10th floor, while Mr Munatsi occupied the 9th floor.
Investigations showed that at around 2.50am on Monday, Mr Gardner was awakened by an explosion-like noise. Mr Gardner went to the balcony to check where the noise was coming from and saw smoke coming from Mr Munatsi’s apartment.
He also heard a voice that was shouting for help and then alerted the fire brigade at the same time running down to the ground floor to seek help.
When police arrived at the scene, they observed that the main bedroom was extensively damaged by fire to the extent that all windows and doors were broken while all the furniture in the bedroom had been burnt.