IN a case of suspected ritual murder, a Mutoko man and his son are accused of plotting the killing of an 11-year-old girl to extract her brains and blood for the purposes of enhancing the family’s grinding-mill business.
Progress Nyakabau was in September 2011 allegedly struck on the head with two rocks weighing 9kg and 4kg by Shanangurai Totama allegedly acting on instruction from his father Andrew Totama.
Progress was doing grade three at Matedza Primary School,
The incident which left other villagers shell-shocked occurred in the resettlement farming area of Matedza in the Mashonaland East Province.
On September 14 2011 Andrew allegedly instructed Shanangurai to acquire human blood and brains for ritual purposes intended to boost his grinding-mill business and in return promised to give his son his own grinding-mill.
On the day in question at around 3pm, Shanangurai met Nyakabau, a neighbour who was on her way home.
It is alleged he, on approaching Nyamutoraheti River bank, attacked her with two huge stones on the forehead and left her for dead.
Nyakabau was later discovered by her uncle lying in a pool of blood, severely battered with two deep cuts on the forehead while her panties and other school items were missing.
She was taken to Matedza clinic where she was attended to before being referred to Mutoko district hospital, but later died on the way.
The two men were arrested by police and Shanangurai allegedly led the police to the recovery of the missing girl’s property.
The duo appeared before High Court judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze facing murder charges as the trial continued at the Harare Magistrates’ Court where the victim friendly court facilities were being used.
In his defence, Andrew denied ever being involved in the girl’s murder, but admitted sending Shanangurai to go and buy diesel for the grinding-mill on the day in question.
Shanangurai, however, also denied intending to kill the girl, but told the court that when he took her to the river bank his intention was to sexually molest her.
He told the court that while at the river he successfully removed the girl’s panties, but somehow the girl managed to free herself and started running away threatening to report him.
In a bid to cover up what he had done, Shanangurai said he then sought to instil fear in the girl to prevent her from reporting and picked up a stone ordering her to come back.
He further said he then threw it in her direction and as fate would have it, she turned to look back at him and was fortuitously struck on the forehead and she fell down hitting her head against another stone leading to serious injuries.
Douglas Chesa appeared for the State.