Zimbabwe’s judicial system will once again be put to test following a recommendation that Michael Banana, eldest son of former President Canaan Banana, should be brought to court to face a murder charge for shooting a love rival 21-year-old Donald Kalinda on August 18, 1988.
The shooting had virtually been swept under the carpet after police simply accepted young Banana’s story that he shot Kalinda when a gang of thieves (which included Kalinda) broke into his home in Braeside. Police classified the shooting as a “sudden death” case.
Kalinda’s family, however, pressed for an investigation saying their son had been murdered in a love triangle but only managed to secure an inquest. It was during the inquest that it was revealed that Donald and Michael had had a quarrel over a girl, Sharon Roberts.
Magistrate, Smart Chigogora, who heard the inquest, has recommended to the Attorney-General Patrick Chinamasa, that charges be brought against the young Banana- a flight lieutenant in the Air Force of Zimbabwe.
It is not clear whether the Attorney-General will accept the magistrate’s recommendation. Even if he does it might take time before the matter is brought to court.
Another case, that of Captain Edwin Nleya, who was murdered for trying to expose smuggling by senior army officers is still with the Attorney-General.
The army had tried to cover up the murder as a suicide but a magistrate ruled out at an inquest in 1989 that Captain Nleya had been murdered.
-From The Insider March 1991