Decomposing body saga: Court orders mental tests

Chitungwiza Magistrates Court

CHITUNGWIZA regional magistrate Clever Tsikwa yesterday ordered psychiatrist tests for a woman who kept the decomposing corpse of her late husband in the family house for several days until her arrest on Monday this week.

Plaxedes Mashasha appeared at the Chitungwiza Magistrates Court facing a culpable homicide charge.

Allegations are that she left her now deceased husband, Gideon Mashasha, critically ill in the custody of her mentally-ill son, Grant (39) at their Zengeza 3 home.  Police recovered Gideon’s decomposing body following a tip-off while  the couple’s son  Grant was hiding in the ceiling. 

 “The accused’s negligence left her husband without care, lying in his blankets in the bedroom.  As a result the husband died. There are reasonable grounds to suspect that you’re not mentally stable. The psychiatrist and another doctor will check you. Come back on the date given, and we hear what the doctors would have said,” Tsikwa ruled.

This was after Mashasha had made inconsistent statements in court.

“When I arrived on Wednesday, he was alive but when I returned I found him dead. After realising that he was dead I rushed to the police and made a report,” she said apparently contradicting herself.

On Wednesday when she appeared in court, Mashasha had her son’s finger nails in her handbag.  She demanded to be given at least a month to secure legal representation.

She was remanded in custody to December 9, when the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services would have presented her medical examination results.

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