By Patrick Chitumba
The Kwekwe General Hospital nurse and her boyfriend who allegedly drugged and killed a patient whose identification particulars they used to claim $5 000 insurance cover from Old Mutual Life Assurance Company have been charged with murder.
On Monday, the lovebirds appeared in court charged with fraud.
Passing his ruling on whether or not to put the nurse Renica Chakabvapasi (30) and her boyfriend Godwin Takarwa Mugwangi (48) on remand yesterday, Kwekwe Magistrate Mr Taurai Manwere said the State had proved that the pair could have connived to kill Lee Mazarire (26).
Chakabvapasi and Mugwangi appeared before Mr Manwere facing one count of murder.
They were not asked to plead and remanded in custody to September 29 — the same date they are set to appear to answer allegations of defrauding Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of $5 000.
Mr Manwere said the State had managed to prove that there was a link between Chakabvapasi and Mugwangi in the alleged murder of Mazarire, who allegedly succumbed to the effects of yet to be identified tablets which he received from Chakabvapasi on September 3. He said the post-mortem results on Mazarire’s remains, which were exhumed on Tuesday and taken to a Bulawayo hospital, would be used as an exhibit in due course.
“We are dealing with an application for placement of the two accused people facing murder on remand by the State. The State suggests that accused one (Chakabvapasi) and accused two (Mugwangi) are connected in this case, an allegation which the defence counsel failed to dispute.
“According to the State, there are eyewitnesses who saw accused one, on the afternoon of September 3 and while dressed in her nursing uniform giving the now deceased tablets.
“That same night, the deceased told his sister that the tablets he had received from accused one were making him worse and that dying declaration by Mazaire wasn’t disputed by the defence,” said Mr Manwere.
He added: “There is also the issue of medical files of the deceased which were found under the car seat of accused number two, that was not disputed and the same accused claimed insurance cover of $5 000 for the deceased and that was also not disputed.
“So the facts alleged by the State constitute a crime of murder and the application to place them on remand is granted.”
The magistrate said the love birds would also answer to the charges of fraud.
Prosecutor Miss Yeukai Mugumba told the court that Chakabvapasi, in the course of her duties, would identify terminally ill patients admitted at Kwekwe General Hospital and use them to swindle Old Mutual Life Assurance Company.
It is the State’s case that she would then secretly obtain their particulars which she would supply to her boyfriend Mugwangi who would use them to open cash back insurance policies without the knowledge of the beneficiaries.
They allegedly stole Mazarire’s particulars and Mugwangi claimed that he was his cousin before opening a cash back funeral plan for him when in fact they were not related.
Mazarire died on September 6 and Chakabvapasi is alleged to have speedily facilitated the acquisition of a burial order, which she in turn handed over to Mugwangi, who claimed $5 000 from the insurance company. The Herald