Own Correspondent|Zanu PF losing member of Parliament for Bulawayo East, Sweet Sweet, who was found dead with pistol in hand, 2.5km from his Nyamandlovu farm on Wednesday was murdered.
Police sources close to investigations say the killers tried to make his death look like a suicide.
Passersby discovered Sweet, in his car on the road on Wednesday morning before alerting his employees, neighbours and the police.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese, yesterday said Sweet was found clutching his gun in his right hand.
“He was found lying on his back holding his C2 pistol by three passersby who informed a community leader who reported the matter to the police. The detectives who were deployed to the scene observed that he was holding his pistol with its full magazine and the gun was not even cocked meaning he could not have shot himself. Also, there were spent cartridges at the scene,” said Chief Insp Makonese.
“The officers discovered that he had stab wounds on the head and was bleeding from the left ear yet the gun was found in his right hand. This led police to suspect the crime scene could have been staged hence police are treating the matter as murder and have since started investigations.”
She said the police took Sweet’s body to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) mortuary for a postmortem.
Chief Insp Makonese appealed to members of the public who might have information that could lead to the arrest of his killers to come forward.
“We have opened a case of murder. He appears to have been shot from a distance and the bullet did not exit his head. His C2 pistol that he was cradling in his right hand had a fully loaded magazine and had not been fired,” said the source.
“He had been shot on the left ear but was found holding the gun in his right hand. It’s a clear case of a clumsy attempt to fake a suicide.”
No arrests have been made so far.
Sweet is mainly known for being a prolific farmer who has won many agricultural awards.
He lost Zanu PF primary elections for the Bulawayo East MP seat in 2013 and 2018, he was convicted of possessing a loaded firearm at a meeting attended by VP Phelekezela Mphoko in 2015.
In 2012, he was accused of trying to grab a mine from Lawrence John Cleminson claiming he was advancing Zanu PF’s indigenisation policy.
The Zanu PF activist went as far as threatening to “take him out” if Cleminson did not make his son Job Sweet a director of his company Filiberg Enterprises.
One of the relatives who spoke on condition of anonymity said Sweet could have been murdered after 12AM on Wednesday as that was the last time they communicated with him.
The relative said the family became anxious when he did not return home as expected.
The relative said they were shocked when cops visited their Mahatshula North home to inform them that he had been found dead.
“What is clear is that he did not commit suicide. He was right-handed and doctors who conducted the postmortem said it was impractical for him to then shoot himself on the left ear and remain holding the gun. They say he could have been shot from a distance that is why there is no gun exit wound. He did not shoot himself, he couldn’t have, there wasn’t anything bothering him,” said the relative.
Another relative said the family is traumatised by Sweet’s death.
“I’m not saying that he wronged anyone, I don’t know what happened but if he had wronged someone who hasn’t? We all have wronged someone but imagine if every time we are wronged we kill someone. The world doesn’t work like that, people resolve differences amicably. Violence is not necessary. This has just left us hurt as a family,” said the relative.