Zimbabwe’s longest funeral. . .. . . as family demands closure to murder case

Source: Zimbabwe’s longest funeral. . .. . . as family demands closure to murder case | Newsday (News)

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

Though an unavoidable possibility, parents never wish to bury their children, it is an unthinkable reality but for the Makore family, the tale to their son’s end stands true to the literal meaning of death “a skilful thief”.

A well-meditated plan, diversions and callous act. As a result Tapiwa Makore (7) allegedly met his death at the of his namesake and uncle Tapiwa Makore (Snr) in cahoots with his employee Tafadzwa Shamba (40).

Seemingly fixated on the dangled carrot of a measly US$1 500, Shamba with every stroke of his double edged knife; disregarded his custodian status and as the skilful thief, stole the innocent soul of a young boy.

Tapiwa breathed his last at the hands of men he looked up to, men that sent him on errands, the shared a plate with.

It is one thing to lose a son, it’s another not to be able to bury him and it is a tragedy knowing a relative is responsible, it is even devastating to go for weeks with only a torso and limbs stashed some kilometres away at a district mortuary.

It is hard to imagine what the Makore family is going through. They might never be able to bury their son anytime soon — do you move on, do you wait, do you keep hoping — such is the cocktail of emotions within the heavy laden family.

“This is a difficult moment for me and the whole family. When is this going to end?” Tapiwa’s mother told journalists two months ago after a visit to the homestead by the traditional leaders from Mashonaland East province.

Chief Mangwende has declared that no remains will be buried within his area without a head.

“I am still to come to terms with this whole thing. The most painful thing is that the head is still missing, the arms are still missing. How am I going to burry my child with a head missing?

If the (forensic) results turn out to be negative, how are we going to bury our son without a head?” she queried.

Indeed, this is one of the country’s longest funerals with new leads emerging everyday. The late Tapiwa’s grave has since been refilled.

As per tradition, burying the dead brings closure to an uncertain incident with the bereaved family ready to move on.

But it is another thing when the remains remain stashed in a mortuary for close to four months with indications that the family will not be part of the festive season celebrations.

Namibia-based social commentator Admire Mare said the delayed funeral would have a negative impact on the family and that there was need for professional counselling.

“Culturally, it is unheard of for a family to wait for this long to bury their beloved one, but this was a unique murder which required that the police and pathologists do their jobs with diligence. However, this prolonged period of mourning and waiting has serious psychological implications on the family and will eventually require professional counselling for the immediate family.”

A number of people have been arrested, with police saying they are still investigating the matter.

On December 3, the Makore family through their lawyer Tabitha Chikeya wrote to police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga demanding DNA forensic results of some body parts that were discovered around the murder scene.

“. . . clients were advised that results of the same would be available in 21 days of testing. The 21-day period for both sets of tests has since expired. Contrary to what was promised, the family has not yet been advised of the DNA test results. It hereby remains unclear whether the test results are out or not.

“The test results will go a long way in helping the family as they undergo this difficult grieving period. Put differently, the results will give the family the closure that they so greatly need in the unfortunate event which befell them as regards Tapiwa Makore.

“Further, the results will be very instrumental in the expediting at the justice delivery system as already there are people who have been apprehended in connection with the alleged murder of Tapiwa Makore,” part of the letter read.

Is Tapiwa’s spirit already avenging?

After the death of the boy, mysterious things have happened in the lives of his alleged killers.

Tafadzwa Shamba’s uncle, Japhet (33) disappeared from home and was later found three days hanging on a tree. He had a note in his pocket saying that he had died because he was ashamed of eating all his mother’s ground nuts meant for seed this farming season.

Last week, Tapiwa Makore’s (snr) kitchen hut mysteriously caught fire and was burnt down despite efforts by villagers to douse the raging flames.

Follow Jairos on Twitter@jairossaunyama

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