By Mary Taruvinga
A Harare businessman who allegedly connived with six of his workers to fatally assault a man for stealing meat worth $2 from his supermarket told the High Court that they have paid 20 cows to appease the deceased’s spirit.
Tawanda Chivavaya, the owner of Choice Supermarket in GlenNorah, is being charged together with Clive Dizamuhupe (33), Fidelis Mutandwa (33), Chandiona Nyakunhuwa (32), Cloete Soko (21), Enough Rusere (32) and Adolf Nyamayedenga (28) for killing Ishmael Mashinge.
Their trial commenced before High Court Judge, Davison Moses Foroma with all denying the allegations.
It however emerged that Chivavaya has paid 20 cows of which 15 were for appeasing spirits of the late Mashinge.
The remaining five are for upkeep and among other things, Chivavaya has also paid $700 for groceries and the coffin.
Also paid is US$1 400 for the deceased’s missing shoe.
He also paid for the memorial service expenses including hiring a kombi to transport relatives to Mhondoro where the deceased was buried.
Chivavaya and his alleged accomplices killed Mashinge after he stole a portion of meat from his shop.
They allegedly dumped the unconscious man in the Glen View 8 industrial site.
The court heard the victim later succumbed to his injuries on the same day.
His body was discovered by a passer-by the following morning.
The State alleges that on May 4 this year, the now deceased Mashinge got into the said supermarket and proceeded to the butchery area.
He reportedly took a packet of beef and hid it in his pair of trousers unaware that he was being monitored.
He passed the till area and as he got out of the shop, he was immediately apprehended by one of the accused persons.
They searched him and recovered the pack of meat.
The businessman and others, the State alleged, took Mashinge to the storeroom where they took turns to assault him with batons.
They further punched, clapped and kicked him all over the body until he fell unconscious.
Upon noticing he was no longer moving, they allegedly bundled him in their vehicle — a Toyota Hiace — and took him to Glen View 8 industrial site where they dumped him, the court heard.
His body was discovered by a passer-by who reported the matter to the police and investigations led to the arrest of the gang.
There are witnesses who saw them assaulting the now deceased and the vehicle which was used to ferry him to the dumping site is being held as an exhibit.
Trial is ongoing.