THE person to last see the late Douglas Munatsi alive is no longer a person of interest in his death after detectives cleared her of any possible involvement.
Munatsi, the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) chief executive, died in a mysterious fire tragedy on 29 November at his Northfields high-rise penthouse.
Detectives then said records in the visitors book at the upmarket residence showed that one Colleta NFPK was the last person to visit Munatsi, and that Munatsi had prior knowledge of Colleta’s visit.
Munatsi then died hours later in a blaze and police interviewed his relatives as well as fellow tenants at the property and security officers then on duty.
Aa clues became evasive, police indicated they were keen to interview Colleta as a person of interest. It took long before Colleta volunteered herself to police, leading many to suspect that she could be evading arrest or tying up some loose ends.
But in a dramatic turn of events surrounding the investigations, National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi has said police interviewed the woman known as Colleta and have released her without a charge.
“We are still conducting investigations,” Nyathi said, “and if any new information comes up we will let you know.”
It also has emerged that Colleta’s relationship with Munatsi was purely business, sources close to the investigators say.
“Colleta befriended Munatsi for only a few days prior to his death. She surrendered to the CID homicide detectives in Harare WhatsApp messages she had exchanged with the late banker before her visit, which apparently showed that the two were finalising a business transaction.
“Investigators have also ruled out that the two were involved in a romantic relationship,” said a source, according to State-owned Sunday Mail.
It also turned out that Colleta’s communications with the late top banker were not considered suspicious by police.
“Colleta was co-operative when she was being interviewed by the detectives,” said one of the sources.
“She even volunteered messages she was exchanging with Munatsi only days before she visited his apartment.
“The messages apparently showed that the two were involved in some business arrangement which they were finalising at Munatsi’s place.
“I think it is fair to say that at the moment the woman can no longer be classified as a person of interest but things can change as the investigation evolves.”
According to records by security at the entrance, Colleta signed herself in at the main check-point of Northfields at 7.15 pm. Munatsi had instructed the guard on duty to please accompany her to his apartment, which is what happened.
The guard told investigators she later signed out at 9.18pm and left on foot.
Police have also not released the full identity of this woman to the public, giving more room to rumours as suspicious grow that Munatsi was murdered.
Social media was awash last week with photos of a Colleta taken at Mutarazi Falls in the Honde Valley and others of her in the arrivals hall of Robert Mugabe International Airport.
Other racy photos showed Colleta while frolicking on a motorcycle on the desert sands in Dubai.
Investigators are trying to piece together reasons why Munatsi was unable to escape from the raging fire which engulfed his bedroom through other escape routes.
The remains of the deceased were found in a sitting position just beside the bath tub in the main bedroom with some burns on the hands and legs.
While his bedroom was burnt to a rubble, his red t-shirt and black shorts were hardly touched by the fire, further puzzling homicide detectives.
Pathologists on Friday handed over samples needed for a toxicology examination to the police after preliminary post-mortem examinations on the body did not give conclusive answers as to the cause of death.
It is understood that investigators are now keenly awaiting post-mortem results from a Government pathologist which are expected this week.
The Munatsi family also commissioned a separate post-mortem which was conducted by a South African pathologist, whose findings are due this week.
Munatsi was laid to rest last Saturday at Greendale Cemetery.