A top-ranking Zimbabwean Army officer died yesterday when a train smashed into his car on a crossing in the town of Marondera, capital of Mashonaland East. Sources immediately hinted that he had been assassinated by military intelligence because of his alleged involvement with the recent attempted coup.
He was Brigadier Armstrong Gunda, Commander of One Brigade, stationed in Bulawayo, and reckoned to be number four in the army hierarchy...
It remains a mystery why Gunda, who was found in the wreck of his top-of-the-range Toyota IMV, was in Mashonaland. The area is the home of the rich and powerful retired General Solomon Mujuru, husband of vice-president Joyce Mujuru, and now a known opponent of Robert Mugabe (who is under house arrest and under suspicion himself)..
If the rumours about Gunda's death are correct it is evidence that President Mugabe's regime is growing increasingly unstable, as he continues to lose support amongst the very people he could previously trust.
Assassination by road accident is not unknown in this part of the world.