Chivero deaths: drama at court

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There was drama at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday when four men accused of causing the deaths of 11 children at Lake Chivero on Christmas Day when their relatives formed a human barricade in desperate attempts to shield the accused from the media and public.

But unfortunately for them, their efforts yielded naught. The drama lasted a few minutes before the police finally managed to get them into the court building.

Latif Aneer (53), Enock Zulu (36), Joseph Abrahams (37) and Fadil Ramon (27) eventually appeared before provincial magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini on charges of culpable homicide or alternatively contravening Section 57(2)(f) and (g) of the Inland Waters Shipping Act.

It is the State’s case that on Christmas Day at about 18:10 hours, the children went for a boat cruise where they met Aneer, the owner of the speed boat, which had a carrying capacity of six passengers.

Aneer allegedly approached Zulu, an unlicensed boat driver, and gave him permission to drive the boat. The State further alleged that Aneer failed to provide life savers to the passengers on board.

Aneer allegedly instructed Abrahams to collect fares from the customers before boarding and ordered Ramon to supervise the passengers on board.

However, despite the boat’s carrying capacity being six, Abrahams allegedly overloaded it with 11 more passengers.

While the boat was in the middle of the lake, water started trickling in, prompting the children to panic.
It is alleged the children shifted to one side and in the process, it capsized.

After the State outlined its case, the defence applied for bail which the State did not oppose.
The quartet was granted $500 bail each after having been not asked to plead.

They were ordered to report once every Friday at different police stations and not to interfere with witnesses.

Their next remand date is January 12, 2012.
Aneer and Ramon were represented by Hamios Mukonoweshuro and Partners while Molyn Mutamangira prosecuted.