A 25-year-old Chivi man, who recently returned from South Africa, allegedly teamed up with his brother and father to fatally assault his grandmother before trying to evade arrest by claiming to be suffering from coronavirus.
However, the suspect, Bright Tizirai of Makuvire village in Madyangove communal lands, was arrested after results proved he was negative.
He had allegedly argued that his arrest would not only endanger the health of law enforcement officers, but other suspects at Chivi Police Station.
When results came out negative, Bright was locked up together with his accomplices, his father Duduzile Tizirai (49) and sibling Daniel (21), for allegedly murdering his septuagenarian grandmother Nyengeterai Tizirai, whom they accused of possessing goblins that purportedly killed Duduzile’s wife last month.
The trio allegedly killed the hapless granny after beating her up with a horse harness and a log at a dip tank in the village on April 5.
After the beating, the suspects allegedly force marched the victim back to the village where they dumped her in a vegetable garden.
Later in the evening of the same day, the suspects allegedly ordered the woman’s niece, Catherine Takaedza, to collect her from the garden where she lay unconscious and take her home.
Masvingo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Charity Mazula said after putting her aunt to bed, Takaedza later checked on her and discovered that she was not breathing and went to alert Duduzile. Police arrested Daniel the next morning following a report while Duduzile and Bright fled.
The two later handed handed themselves to the police. Bright warned that holding him was risky because of his Covid-19 positive status.
Provincial Medical Director Dr Amadeous Shamu collected samples from Bright and tested him for Covid-19 at the request of the police.
“We collected samples from the murder suspect (Bright) in Chivi who recently returned from South Africa and claimed to have had Covid-19. The results came out negative,” said Dr Shamu.
Bright, his sibling and father were remanded in custody and advised to apply for bail at the High Court. Masvingo is still to record its first positive case of Covid-19 with all tests conducted to date coming out negative.