In a case of gruesome murder before Justice Mawadze at the High Court in Masvingo, a Mwenezi man allegedly assaulted his young brother’s daughter (8) to death and carried the body in a Shangani bag to a bush where he prepared a huge fire and burned it to ashes.
Police found some small pieces of burnt bones in the smoldering fire, the Court was told.
The trial of Taruziva Sithole (37) of Village 3 Wedza Block, Chomutamba area, Mlelezi in Mwenezi closed this week and Justice Mawadze will give his ruling on June 2, 2022.
The State represented by Emmanuel Matose said Sithole severely assaulted Irene Sithole with switches as punishment for allowing cattle to stray into a sorghum field. The juvenile died a few hours later. At the Police Station, Sithole implicated Shackmore Dube who stayed at the same homestead. He alleged that Dube tasked him to kill the girl and he cut off and took away her private parts before Sithole burnt the body.
Dube vehemently refuted the allegations and said that he was not aware of the murder until after the accused was arrested by Police.
Irene stayed with her uncle because her father and mother separated and the father is now staying in South Africa.
The State said on December 29, 2020 at around 5pm, the deceased was herding cattle together with two other minors aged five and two. Sithole saw the cattle straying and he intercepted them before they got into his sorghum field.
He ordered the deceased to lie on her abdomen and assaulted her using switches.
Irene later went to fetch water with Sithole’s son but she couldn’t carry out the task as she complained that she was feeling hot and weak.
At home she could not eat as they sat in the hut that night. She later slept on a mat and died. The accused took a blanket and covered her while all family members including the minors watched.
Sithole waited until everyone had slept and took a Shangani bag and placed Irene’s body inside while his wife Sitshengiwise Mpofu watched. He walked out into the night and went into the bush where he prepared a big fire and burnt the girl’s body.
Mpofu who told the court that Sithole was an abusive man who always beat her up said she could not stand what she saw. She told Mupandasekwa Zhou, a neighbor and Zhou in turn reported the case to Mwenezi ZRP.
Police arrested Sithole and he led the cops to the place where he had burnt the body. Police found the fire still smoldering and managed to find a few pieces of burnt bones in the fire.
Jackson Mupoperi of Saratoga Makausi Law Chambers and Isabel Moyo of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba represented Sithole and Dube respectively.