- "Tapiwa’s uncle and his agents should not be given a custodial sentence because they are mental patients. It is my request to the President that these culprits be hanged."
By Mutsa Makuvaza
MEMBERS of Parliament have condemned the brutal killing of Tapiwa Makore, a seven-year-old boy from Murehwa who was allegedly murdered for ritual purposes.
The boy’s body was found mutilated with its head missing. His uncle also named Tapiwa Makore and his herdsman Tafadzwa Shamba have since been arrested as murder suspects.
Moving a point of privilege in the National Assembly yesterday, Zanu-PF chief whip Pupurai Togarepi condemned the killing saying the perpetrators deserved to be punished severely for the crime.
He also called on the political and community leadership to conduct awareness campaigns against popular beliefs that human body parts could boost business ventures.
Makoni North MP Francis Muchenje (Zanu-PF) said he personally knew the killer who he said was a violent man and urged community participation in ensuring that violent people are kept in jail.
“I come from that area and I know Tafadzwa the murderer. This was shocking and an abomination in the area. It is unbelievable, especially to those staying in the area where it has happened.
“The murder of Tapiwa was painful because there is no parent who can expect that a relative can kill another person in the family.
“Every time I look at Tapiwa’s mother I feel pained. We all have children in our families and if you think the child I was with in the morning, his head has been decapitated and cannot be found. The legs and his hands are on their own. That situation traumatises.
“After the issue became public and the one perpetrator of that murder case had been identified, then eventually the head could not be found. It was really touching and painful.”
Muchenje expressed worry at the continued delay in the burial as the boy’s head cannot be found, adding that this traumatises the parents of the boy even more.
“The most challenging issue is that as residents of that area and people who know how the story transpired and knowing that the perpetrator spoke and confessed that he killed four other people, you then end up wondering why the head has not been found yet and why it is delaying.
“I wonder how groceries and donations help the family. The family does not just want groceries but they want closure to the matter. They want the head to be found so that it can be buried together with the body.
“I am pleading that as legislators and Government, we assist this family so that the child’s head is recovered because Tapiwa’s mother is suffering. This is really painful. That is my first point.
“Secondly, we need to identify people who should be reported to the police in our communities.
“The man who killed Tapiwa was an evil man because his wife left their matrimonial home due to physical abuse. His wife gave birth to a disabled child after suffering physical abuse.
“On being left by his wife, Tafadzwa used to move around with his son even going to beer halls with him for five years. The community was supposed to identify that this man’s behaviour was not good and the man was evil.
“So when we see people perpetuating and perpetrating violence on their families, we need to identify and report them because this has been happening for a long time,” Muchenje said.
The ruling party’s Chegutu West legislator Dexter Nduna also seconded the adoption of the motion saying there was nothing as painful as losing one’s child.
“The motion that he (Togarepi) speaks to and about is a motion that brings a lot of anger deep within me because if you want to get anyone to be sad, if you want them to feel very sad, if you want any human being to cry, you need to take away their child, wife and husband in the event that one is married.
“We need, as Members of Parliament, like he said, to actually raise the bar and emotions within our constituencies and make sure that we do a solidarity march with the family of the young man who is now deceased and was murdered for his body parts.
“We want to make sure that when the message reaches our constituencies, what happened to the toddler will not happen again in our constituencies,” Nduna said.
“The young man we are talking about has been cut off from the earth at the time when he has not even gotten up to 20. If we do not speak against this Mr. Speaker Sir, no one else will.
“People are trying to look for the gold and silver in the wrong places. You do not look for gold and silver through the blood of another man, through the head decapitation and severing of vital organs of children.”
Zanu-PF Beitbridge West MP Ruth Maboyi demanded that the killers of Tapiwa be hanged. She said President Emmerson Mnangagwa must see to it that the death penalty is effected on the murderers without delay.
“I would like to say he was killed for the name that was given to him. Tapiwa died for the name that was given to him, his uncle’s name. I believe that Tapiwa’s uncle was a devil. It is scarring that someone can kill someone in that manner.
“It is my belief that if I was given the right to decide this case, I would suggest that he be hanged. People are not animals which can be killed like that. As a woman, I feel pain on the manner that he died. It was not a proper manner that he died. His body parts were cut off.”
Maboyi blamed the murder on the traditional healers and tsikamutandas and said the practice of tsikamutandas must be banned.
“It is very scary – I cannot describe it but it all emanates from traditional healers. These traditional healers and Tsikamutandas are the ones who cause people to commit such heinous acts.
“I would like to talk a bit about Tsikamutanda because they are a problem in my constituency. They come from Maranda in Mberengwa. They have caused divisions amongst the people.
“They are mostly involved in witchcraft and they bring various objects and allege that they would have removed them. They come with cats and beasts and people in the rural areas believe that – I once approached the police when I heard they were in my area. The police went there and but did not do anything.
“Some prophets with red and green cloth also cause children to be killed. I like working in the garden and if you kill me and remove my hand it will not work for you.
“Tapiwa’s uncle and his agents should not be given a custodial sentence because they are mental patients. It is my request to the President that these culprits be hanged.
“If they are not given deterrent sentences they will influence others. They should be given deterrent sentence so that others of a like mind are deterred.” – Zimbabwe Voice ■