THE trial of four murder suspects linked to the alleged ritual killing of then seven-year-old Murehwa minor Tapiwa Makore (Junior) in September 2020 resumed at the High Court yesterday, with the quarlert denying the charge.
Tapiwa’s decapitated body was buried seven months later, with the head missing, following the intervention of traditional healers.
The suspects Tafadzwa Shamba, Tapiwa Makore Senior, Maud Hunidzarira and Thanks Makore denied the allegations when they appeared before Justice Munamato Mutevedzi.
The prime suspect Shamba, who was represented by Tinashe Mavhaire and Mutsa Chivandire from Chivandire, Mavhaire and Zinto Law Chambers told the court that he admitted to the allegations under duress after being assaulted by the investigating officers.
Shamba, who was the gardener of the deceased's father and was linked to the offence by his blood-soaked pair of trousers, denied the link saying the blood spots that were found on his pair of trouser were from a chicken he had slaughtered at Makore Snr’s homestead.
He also stated that the blood stains found on his vest were menstrual blood left by his friend’s girlfriend.
Shamba also denied that he sold human remains to one Joiner Tangarire saying he had regularly sold him beef for over a year.
“Shamba was heavily assaulted by police from CID Murehwa using iron bars, shamboks, sticks and was tied with rope for more than five hours to make admissions to this offence. He will state that he was forced to admit the offence. All indications are denied as they are done under a prolonged physical assault and duress by the police officers,” Shamba's lawyers submited.
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“Shamba was advised that the President had declared that he should be killed and was taken to Marondera for burial. He was told by the police to implicate others as co-pepetrators. He was told what to say by the police on camera.”
Tapiwa's mother Linda Munyori narrated how she sent her child to the garden after she prepared food for him until the time he disappeared.
The second witness Julia Kamunda who had told the police that her son was asked by Shamba to call the deceased from the garden and denied the statement saying she was forced to lie.
Kamunda had told the police that her son James Makore was sent by Shamba to collect the now deceased from the garden.
“I then advised James Makore not to tell anyone about the issue. I even threatened to assault him if ever he tells anyone... I went to the garden my son James Makore told me that he had been given US$5 and a green T-shirt by Tapiwa Makore (Senior) for thanking him for assisting Tafadzwa Shamba to call the nov deceased," Kamunda told the police at the time.
But in court she denied all her statements saying she was assaulted by the police together with her husband who is not a witness in the matter.
The other three also denied the offence saying they were assaulted by the police to give statements that were told by the police.
The trial continues today.
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