Makore murder: 2 acquitted, 2 face judgment
Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Two of the four suspects being tried for the ritual murder of Murewa boy Tapiwa Makore Jnr two years ago were yesterday acquitted at the close of the prosecution case after the prosecution withdrew the charges against them for lack of incriminating evidence, but the other two were put on their defence.
Justice Munamato Mutevedzi formally acquitted Moud Hunidzarira and Thanks Makore of the murder when the State withdrew charges at the end of its case. As the charges were withdrawn after plea, the two can never be retried using any of the evidence led in the present trial.
However, the prime suspects, who were allegedly the two, who did the actual killing, Tafadzwa Shamba and Tapiwa Makore Snr, were placed on their defence after the court found there was overwhelming evidence linking them with the murder.
In his evidence-in-chief Shamba insisted he was tortured by the investigating officers to sign a warned and cautioned statement, which he argued was already prepared by the police. He also insisted that the confessions and indications he made at the crime scene were done out of fear of police brutality.
“The torture I experienced at the hands of the police compelled me to lie in order to escape their (police) brutality,” said Shamba.
But he conceded during cross-examination by prosecutor Mr Albert Masamha that he apologised to the deceased’s family.
On further questioning, Shamba said the boy could have been killed by relatives, denying that he and Makore Snr killed him.
The evidence shown in court incriminated him and his co-accused, which is why they had to be put on their defence to see if they could rebut this, and the indications he made during police investigations led to the recovery of Tapiwa’s body parts.
Last week, the court held an inquiry to establish the circumstances under which Shamba made the confessions and indications. In his ruling, Justice Mutevedzi said police officers were allowed to obtain full information about a particular case. He found Shamba’s story to be preposterous because if the confessions were rehearsed the police would not have recovered the body parts.
Makore Snr was also placed on his defence and cross-examined by the State. He also denied killing the boy.
After the defence closed its case, and no other witnesses except the accused were called, Justice Mutevedzi reserved judgment but directed both the State and defence counsel to file written submissions by Tuesday next week.
Tapiwa was killed in a suspected case of ritual murder, allegedly by Tafadzwa Shamba and uncle Tapiwa Makore Snr on September 17, 2020 in Nyamutumbu village, Murewa.
According to Shamba’s confession, the boy was drugged, killed and mutilated so that they could sell his body parts to a witch doctor for US$1 500.
The family faced continued grief after enduring over six months without laying his body to rest since they wanted to delay burial until the boy’s head was found. The head was never found, resulting in the burial of the headless torso.