There has been a new twist on the case of the Ruwa doctor Dr Johannes Marisa whose mansion burnt down after he dragged his nephew, driver and gardener to court accusing them of stealing cash and burning down the house to conceal evidence.
The trio of Blessing Mahutse, 20, Simon Chavhundutsa 19, and Garikayi Ekaya, 36, were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko facing theft and malicious damage to property charges.
Mahutse is a son to Dr Marisa’s sister while Chavhunduka and Ekaya were employed as driver and a gardener respectively.
The court also heard that Mahutse and Chavhunduka live at the mansion and had access to the complainant’s bedroom where the money was kept.
The trio was remanded in custody to February 8 for bail considerations.
Mahutse and Chavhunduka, it is alleged, entered into the complainant’s bedroom, broke the wardrobe locks and stole a bag containing US$50 000.
The gardener Ekaya is said to have taken two litres of petrol from the store room which was meant for the lawn mower and used it to burn down the house in connivance with the other two accused, the court heard.
It is the State’s case that to cover-up for the offence, the trio lied to the complainant that the fire was caused by lightning.
In efforts to establish how his mansion had caught fire, the doctor hired experts from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) who ruled out an electrical fault, leading to the arrest of the trio.
According to the State, Mahutsi deliberately made no efforts to rescue Dr Marisa’s children who were in the prayer room.
It is alleged he actually entered the room they were in when the fire started and walked out of the room without rescuing the children or taking some property outside.
The children had to jump out through the windows.