State revives boy murder trial of top soldier’s wife

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE trial of a top military commander’s wife who allegedly unleashed two soldiers on her brother’s 13-year-old son she accused of stealing $70 resulting in his death, will now stand trial next year after being on remand for eight years.

Cleopatra Shingirai Mutisi, the wife of Brigadier-General Francis Mutisi and also a former Audit Executive at the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), is facing murder.

She is accused of teaming up with Tafara Frank Gusha and Tafadzwa Shayanewako who were manning her residence to fatally assault the boy.

The three were arrested in November 2012 after having initially lied to the boy’s parents that the deceased had been assaulted by other pupils at school.

The boy had endured a difficult time being kept behind locked doors and going with no food after the money disappeared.

According to the State, after he refused to disclose where the money was, Mutisi then assigned the two soldiers to assault the minor.

Mutisi also allegedly participated in the assault.

According to the State, Gusha and Shayanewko were assigned to guard Mutisi’s Borrowdale home in Harare.

The court heard how Mutisi allegedly took her nephew to Hatcliff Police Post claiming he had stolen the money meant for workers who were repairing a borehole at the house.

It is alleged that while at the police station, Mutisi instructed a police officer only identified as Banda to assault the now deceased Tafara Matanhire so he could confess to stealing the money.

The police officer refused to do so saying she should instead talk to the boy politely, the court heard.

Mutisi then went back home and locked up the minor for two days without food and water before ordering Gusha and Shayanewako to assault him and recover the money.

It is State’s case that the two soldiers took Matanhire to the cottage where they assaulted him overnight using hosepipes.

Mutisi allegedly joined the two in the morning to assault the boy before leaving for her rural home in Maramba.

The teen was left in Gusha and Shayanewako’s custody.

“Realising the juvenile had died, the two soldiers contacted Mutisi resulting in the trio hatching a plan to file a false police report that the minor had been assaulted by unknown assailants at school.

“The boy’s body was taken to hospital for post mortem and it was established that he died from severe head injuries and subdural haemorrhage (collection of blood outside the brain),” said the State.