By Ray Bande
MUTARE – Irate members of Mumharu family in the Tombo area of Nyanga North last Friday dumped the body of Taibva Chipo Mumharu at the doorstep of one of the suspected murderers demanding to be paid reparations of $18 000.
Taibva (35), who died on Wednesday a week after being assaulted by five assailants at Tombo Two Business Centre, was yet to be buried when The Manica Post visited the area on Monday, almost a week after the incident.
Adamant and unwavering, Mumharu’s close relatives were still gathered at their homestead, while two representatives of the five suspected murderers were helplessly milling along a nearby road waiting that their emissaries would reach an agreement with the bereaved.
“We heard that our son was at a bottle store drinking beer with his friends when a dispute arose after one of Taibva’s friends smashed a bottle with beer on the wall. This did not go down well with the assailants who thought Taibva and crew were needlessly showing off, and this resulted in a fierce fight.
“We were informed that they were attacked by people from Manyau, Chijonga, Mautsa and Musakwa families. There was also mention of Matseketsa, but it was through the grapevine.
“After the brutal attack, our son managed to come home around midnight. He was in pain. He was ferried to Regina Ceoli Hospital. He spent three days there before he was transferred to Nyanga District Hospital on Wednesday where he was further transferred to Mutare Provincial Hospital on the same day.
“He was pronounced dead at Mutare Provincial Hospital around 10pm,” said Norman Mumharu, the deceased’s uncle, who agreed to be interviewed in the presence of close relatives at their homestead.
Norman confirmed that the family wanted a total of $18 000 in reparations for their murdered son.
“When we took the deceased’s body from Mutare we then sat down as elders in the family and decided to surrender the body to his assailants for them to conduct the burial rituals. We consulted the police and they said they do not have problems with the arrangement as long as it was done peacefully.
“They (Manyau family) then went to the police and we were summoned at the police station to discuss the issue. The Manyau family asked for permission to take the body to Regina Coeli Mission Hospital mortuary from their homestead where we had dumped it. We agreed and gave them our family representatives to do that. They later came to us to find common ground on the problem and that is when we told them what we wanted.
“The sum total of what we want as reparations is $18 000. There are hospital bills, transport, food as well as the actual reparations for killing our son. They came back the next day with one bull and we refused to entertain them. In fact, they are still milling along the nearby road,” he said.
Asked to give the breakdown of the $18 000 they were demanding, Norman said: “Our son had $200 on him when he was murdered and it disappeared. A cap and a shirt also disappeared. Transport to ferry the deceased’s body from Mutare as well as transport used by mourners amounted to $1 400. There are hospital and ambulance bills as well as the actual reparations for the evil act committed,” he said.
In a separate interview, the deceased’s mother, Esnath Mumharu, said her son mentioned two of the assailants before he died.
“Although this happened while I was away, when I came back he was still alive and he mentioned Matseketsa and Manyau’s names as his assailants. He even requested for a pencil to write their names down, but somehow I did not take it seriously then,” she said.
When contacted for comment, a Manyau family representative, Isaac Manyau, father to the accused Trymore, complained that the Mumharu family was deliberately frustrating their efforts to come to an understanding.
“We have never denied that we committed a crime. We are aware of the heinous act that our son(s) committed and we are prepared to pay for that. All we want is to let the deceased get a decent and timeous burial.
“After all, this crime was committed by four or five people, but we are only the two of us here (Mautsa and Manyau). We managed to get two beasts as well as the $300 for mutete as they initially wanted and we thought we would get the body buried. Unfortunately they are shifting goalposts and they are now demanding at least 10 beasts or $4 000 to start talking.
“We went back to the police and they referred us to traditional leaders. We are still in the process of getting the assistance of traditional leaders in the area to solve the issue,” he said.
By Tuesday late afternoon the body was still at Regina Mission Hospital mortuary while the Mumharu family, representatives of the Mautsa and Manyau families were still engaging traditional leaders. Manica Post