HomeNewsMentally-challenged woman acquitted over missing child

Mentally-challenged woman acquitted over missing child


A 21-YEAR-OLD mentally-challenged Bindura woman, Tarisai Matsikarima, accused of causing the disappearance of her three-year-old baby three years ago, was acquitted yesterday after High Court judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze noted that at the time of commission of the offence, she was not mentally sound.

BY senior court reporter

The court heard that although Matsikarima is said to have claimed she strangled the child and dumped her body in Mazowe Dam, efforts by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) sub-aqua unit to recover the toddler’s remains from the dam proved futile.

Matsikarima was initially charged with murder before the State preferred a lesser charge of ill-treatment or neglect of children and young persons, as defined in Section 7(1) of the Children’s Act.

According to the statement of agreed facts presented in court by prosecutor Henry Muringani, on April 7 2012 and at an unknown place in Bindura or Harare, Matsikarima approached her sister Lucia at Kingstone Farm in Bindura and requested to leave her child, named as Rufaro, with her, indicating she wanted to go back to work in Chitungwiza.

But Lucia is said to have refused to accept the child, prompting Matsikarima to leave the place with her daughter together with her other 11-month-old baby. Lucia confirmed the conversation when she was called to testify during trial.

Matsikarima proceeded to Harare, but her daughter’s whereabouts since that time have remained a mystery.
Matsikarima was represented by Farai Nyamayaro.

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