Headman, 10 villagers face murder charge

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Ten villagers from Chiputura village in Guruve who allegedly beat a fellow villager, Safiriyi Shereni, to death after accusing him of stealing maize cobs, have appeared for trial at the High Court facing a murder charge.

Justice Joseph Musakwa is presiding over the case.
The villagers were allegedly led by headman Phillip Chiputura, who is alleged to have instructed them to tie both Shereni’s hands with a piece of wire before meting out street justice to him.

However, the trial failed to proceed as lawyers representing some of the accused persons failed to turn up.

The incarcerated villagers are Chiputura, Hendricks Kamuzunguze, Hendrick Matumbaira, Paradzai Grey, Chandafira Mahembe, Brian Chigede, Enock Matumbaira, George Mavhura, Nester Mazhangara and Laina Marufu.

According to State papers, the incident, which left the entire village shocked, occurred on February 8 2009, when Mazhangara allegedly caught Shereni stealing maize cobs from her field.

She is said to have reported the matter to headman Chiputura, who in turn instructed villagers to apprehend Shereni over the matter.

It is alleged Shereni was brought before the headman who instructed that both his hands be tied with a length of wire.

After securing his hands, the villagers allegedly took turns to indiscriminately assault Shereni all over the body, leaving him for dead.

Shereni was later released into the custody of his wife, Taurayi Burugamu, who ferried him to their home, but he succumbed to the injuries the following morning.