IN A gruesome murder that has shocked the city, a Mutare man fatally assaulted his 13-year-old son after tying his neck, hands and legs with an electric cable.
The gravity of the assault prompted Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe, to order a mental examination for Thomas Muchakubvura (40) by two doctors.
Muchakubvura’s excessive corporal punishment on his son, Denver, was allegedly ignited by a misunderstanding over a delay in cooking beans.
Denver was a Grade Five pupil at Chikanga Primary School.
Mr Mahwe remanded Muchakubvura in custody to December 11 for routine remand and advised him to apply for bail at the High Court.
Mr Brian Goto prosecuted, while Ms Medusa Simango of Mupindu Legal Practitioners represented the suspect.
Investigations conducted by The Manica Post revealed that Muchakubvura separated with his wife, Ms Tsitsi Parara (38) of Chimanimani in July 2020 following numerous cases of domestic violence perpetrated on the woman.
Due to unending physical abuse, Parara had applied for a peace order which was duly granted but the couple eventually separated, with the woman moving to her rural home, while Muchakubvura took custody of the couple’s four children, including the late Denver.
Mr Goto said on November 24, Muchakubvura instructed Denver to prepare beans for supper.
When Muchakubvura returned home around 6pm, the meal was not yet ready and this infuriated him as he accused Denver of not complying with his orders.
The following day at around 6am, Muchakubvura woke up Denver and his siblings so that they could do some gardening.
An hour later, two of the children left for school, thereby leaving Denver, his other sibling and their father at home.
It is alleged that Muchakubvura then instructed Denver to take his brother to their neighbour’s residence since he wanted Denver to accompany him to Penhalonga.
When Denver put on clean clothes in preparation for the Penhalonga trip, Muchakubvura did not approve and his son took them off.
However, Muchakubvura changed goal posts and instructed Denver to put the clean clothes back on.
Surprised by his father’s behaviour, Denver asked why he had been made to remove the clean clothes in the first place.
This infuriated Muchakubvura.
“In an instant, Muchakubvura locked the door from outside and went to pluck a rod from a Muzhanje tree. He went back into the house and locked the door from inside.
“Denver tried to run away but Muchakubvura tripped him to the ground and pressed him down with his foot. He took an electric cable and tied Denver’s legs, hands and neck together,” said one of the investigation officers who spoke on condition of anonymity.
It is alleged that Muchakubvura assaulted Denver several times all over the body using the Muzhanje rod until the young boy passed out.
“He untied the boy, grabbed him by the collar, dragged him to the carport and left him there. Muchakubvura went into his bedroom and removed his blood stained trousers and put on clean clothes.
“He then locked the door and went to town, leaving Denver unattended. At around 11.30am, he returned home to find Denver lying motionless where he had left him.
“He took Denver to the bathroom and removed the blood stained clothes he was wearing and cleaned him up. He then took Denver’s body to his bedroom and dressed him up in clean clothes. He then left him lying on the bed,” said the investigator.
It is alleged that Muchakubvura washed Denver’s blood-stained clothes and put them on the washing line to dry.
He also took his blood stained pair of trousers and dumped it between his precast wall and that of his neighbour’s.
In a bid to conceal the crime, Muchakubvura then approached a neighbour, Mr John Chihururu, and requested for contact details of ambulance service providers claiming that his son had been attacked by unknown assailants.
He called one ambulance service provider and was told that they could not help as there was no available vehicle.
Muchakubvura then called Mr Garikai Kuziva, an unregistered taxi operator. When Mr Kuziva arrived at Muchakubvura’s Murambi house, he noticed that Denver was already dead and advised his father to report the matter to the police.
At around 1.40pm, Muchakubvura made a false report of robbery at ZRP Mutare Central.
He claimed that Denver had been attacked by unknown assailants who had demanded keys to their house.
Detectives attended the scene and made several observations. They discovered that there was no blood on the blankets where Denver’s body was lying, yet he had bruises all over his body.
The cops also found out that there was no trail of blood from the point where Denver had been allegedly found lying in the carport to his bedroom.
It was also noted that there was no sign of forced entry into the house. In addition, nothing had been stolen from the house.
This raised suspicions on Muchakubvura’s claims that robbers had pounced on his house.
Neighbours asked about the robbery allegations could not corroborate the story. Further enquiries revealed that Muchakubvura was lying.
Muchakubvura’s blood-stained trousers was also discovered hidden behind his precast wall.
When Muchakubvura was re-interviewed in view of the new evidence, he confessed to having committed the crime
On November 27, he made some indications at the crime scene and this led to the recovery of the Muzhanje rod and the electric cable used in tying Denver.
— Manica Post