By Samuel Kadungure
The body of a Rusape man that was buried last month after a post-mortem by a local doctor had concluded that he had taken a poisonous substance has been exhumed.
The body was exhumed last week after relatives demanded pathological tests which confirmed the cause of death as brain trauma and assault.
Initially it was thought Isaac Chigwese (46), a teacher at Nerwande Primary School in Chief Chiduku’s area, had committed suicide after failing to pay a $400 debt.
However, no poison traces were detected and the Rusape CID details have since arrested two suspects —Edward Maziofa (62), of Nerwande Village in the same area and Patrick Mupfekeri (59), a general hand at Capri Home Alliances — on allegations of Chigwese’s murder.
Detective Assistant Inspector Gift Mutigwa of CID Rusape confirmed the arrest of the pair of Maziofa and Mupfekeri on Wednesday.
He said allegations against Mupfekeri and Maziofa were that they murdered Chigwese after a cattle swapping deal that went sour. The deal, which was entered into some time in 2012, turned sour on March 31, 2013.
Mupfekeri in August 2012 offered his oxen for a swap and entrusted Maziofa to conduct the transaction while he returned to work in Harare. Chigwese, who operated a butchery at Goto Business Centre, then approached Edward intending to buy the beast.
“On hearing the terms, he then approached one Mr Chideke of Masvosva Village who was selling a young bull and paid a deposit of $150. He then approached Maziofa and the two entered into a swap deal and Chigwese slaughtered the oxen. He misrepresented to Maziofa that he had paid the full amount to Chideke.
“When Maziofa and Mupfekeri approached Chideke so that they collect their bull, he refused to release it saying Chigwese had not paid the full amount.
“He told them that only $150 was paid and when they approached Chigwese over the matter he became evasive,” said Dect Asst Insp Mutigwa.
Dect Asst Insp Mutigwa said in March 2014, Mupfekeri and Maziofa approached Chigwese over the matter and proceeded to Chideke’s homestead to finalise the matter.
“Chideke insisted on the $150 balance from Chigwese and a reversal agreement in which Chideke was to pass the $150 he had been paid to Mupfekeri with Chigewshe paying the other $150 to Mupfekeri on March 30, 2014 was entered into.
However, Chigweshe failed to meet his part of the bargain and the accused failed to locate him at the school. They later found his wife who advised them that he had gone to Masvosva to look for money to pay them,” he said.
The following morning Maziofa allegedly made a follow-up and bumped into Chigweshe on his return from Masvosva and was told that he had failed to get the money. He then promised to pay the money after his young brother had sold his tobacco crop. Mupfekeri arrived when the two were arguing but refused to accept the new terms.
“Maziofa (allegedly) tied Chigwese’s hands with a nylon rope and the two started assaulting him. This was reportedly done in full view of pupils and teachers who were at the assembly point. The pair allegedly dragged and kicked him while he was tied.
They demanded that they approach police at Matsika Base to settle the matter, but Chigwese pleaded against the move saying he had pending issues at the station,” he said.
The three then approached village head Nerwande, who then demanded to get an assurance from Chigwese’s alleged young brother as to when the payment was to be made.
As efforts were being made to contact the young brother, Chigwese’s wife arrived.
Chigwese then volunteered to village head Nerwande to go home to get some money to buy air time to call his brother.
He never returned.
His body was discovered on April 1, 2014 in a bushy area along Mutorahuku Stream about 400 metres from the school. His face was swollen and had some scars. A small 200ml bottle was found at the scene. The body was exhumed on April 28. Manica Post