By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
8 May 2014
The family of a former British SAS soldier, who died in suspicious circumstances two years ago in Bulawayo, has won a legal battle for authorities to reopen an investigation into his death.
The body of 54 year-old Robert Wood, who was born in Glasgow and served in the elite British SAS forces, was found dead in a room of his home in Morningside.
Reports said the cause of death as reported by a pathologist was asphyxia due to hanging. The pathologist ruled that Wood committed suicide, a pronouncement his family contested.
In 2013 a UK coroner said at an inquest in Surrey that some of the evidence he heard into the death was ‘very suspicious.’ Detective Sergeant Gary White of Surrey Police said the inquiry had been hampered by a lack of co-operation from the authorities in Zimbabwe.
It is believed Wood ran a lucrative gold mine near the city for two British investors, in return for a 13 per cent stake. At the time of his death he had moved into his new home in Bulawayo with his Zimbabwean lover, Henrietta Dube.
Dube was a director in the mine and is being accused by Wood’s family of giving differing accounts of his death plus faking his will. She is facing other allegations that together with her local boyfriend Bekithemba Nyoni, Dube took over the mine after Wood’s death and emptied all the company bank accounts.
There have been a number of high profile deaths of individuals involved in diamond and gold dealings in the past five years. Last year businessman Allan Laurence Banks was killed and his body stashed in his car boot, allegedly by a business rival.
Banks had US$20,000 on him when he disappeared. His body was discovered days later inside the car boot and in state of decomposition. The car was found parked at the corner of Herbert Chitepo and Mazowe streets in central Harare.
In another case in January this year, Mtshabezi residents found popular Gwanda gold buyer Mbonisi Moyo dead in a bushy area next to the Mtshabezi River.