An outspoken Zimbabwean member of parliament who was investigating the ties between the ruling party and the country's diamond industry has died in an automobile accident under what some are calling suspicious circumstances.
Edward Chindori-Chininga died on June 19, 2013 after the vehicle he was driving reportedly failed to stop and rammed into a tree. Chindori-Chininga, who was a member of the parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy and a former minister, was looking into the plundering of the country’s diamonds allegedly by colleagues from the Robert Mugabe-led Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front).
Last week, Chindori-Chininga released a detailed report showing the involvement of ZANU PF officials and allies in the diamond industry.
Many Zimbabweans are suspicious because of Zimbabwe's long history of mysterious car accidents involving top politicians. The country has since independence in 1980 witnessed scores of deaths of politicians who met their fate on the road, leaving unanswered questions about the suspicious accidents.
Alan Martin, the director of research with Partnership Africa Canada, a Canada-based global diamond watchdog, has claimed that Chindori-Chininga confided to him that he “knew that he was a marked man”.
This prompted Zimbabweans to take to social media sites to express their dismay and suspicion on what is seen as yet another political killing in Zanu PF’s chequered history.
Writing on Facebook, journalist Lance Guma recorded one reader’s suspicion:
If the car VEERED OFF THE ROAD AND HIT A TREE where is the airbag???? and why is the windscreen intact????????????????????????????”
Reader on Nehanda Radio Facebook fanpage commenting on Hon Edward Takaruza Chindori-Chininga accident.
Baba Jukwa, an anonymous Facebook phenomenon who is privy to Zanu PF’s political machinations, was the first to warn that the late MP’s life was in danger. He intimated that Zanu PF officials thought Chindori-Chininga was the man behind the mysterious Baba Jukwa. Following his death, Baba Jukwa wrote:
The Mashonaland Central mafia, has done it as l warned few weeks ago. Chindori Chininga openly told them that he will join the Vapanduki (rebels) crew if they continued with their attempt to nail him down and l wonder why he didn't listen when l was all along warning him of the impending danger.
Doesntmatter Tongogara believed that the MP was strangled:
This does seem to be a natural accident, i would like to agree with BJ [Baba Jukwa] that he was strangled and car deliberately rammed on tree. My heart bleeds for Hon Edward Takaruza Chindori-Chininga . I talked to him of facebook an warned him that as Chairman of Mines Portfolio he is at high risk if he does he job professionally. Zanupf is mafia they do not want to be exposed especially anything do do [sic] with Diamonds. RIP Hon Edward Takaruza Chindori Chininga
Minister David Coltart (@DavidColtart) took to Twitter:
@DavidColtart: I am sorry to hear of the death of Edward Chindori Chininga this evening. A brave MP whose recent exposé of corruption in mining was superb.
Journalist Nqaba Matshazi (@nqabamatshazi) posted:
@nqabamatshazi: Reports that Zim MP Edward Chindori Chininga died in a car crash. Only days after he released a damning report of abuse of diamond revenue.
@nqobilebhebhe: that season of Zimbabwe politicians dying in car accidents & some arrested on sexed up charges is upon us
Sal Amanda (@Zimbird) posted:
@Zimbird: Chindori-Chininga said earlier this month that he knew he was a “marked man”. Hmm 2 car accidents a few months apart, the 2nd one tragic.