By Abel Zhakata
A 23-year-old Zimunya man who killed his father after making him drink water laced with poison during a cleansing ceremony along Mpudzi River committed the gruesome crime. His motive — he wanted to inherit a Madza 323 sedan.
Dereck Chitakatira is on trial at the Mutare High Court before Justice Muzenda who is expected to hand over judgment today.
He is charged with murder as defined in Section 47(1) (a) or (b) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23.
Principal public prosecutor Ms Jane Rose Matsikidze told the court that the suspect killed his father Lloyd Chitakatira on March 18 last year.
Dereck is being represented by Mrs Magama from the Legal Aid Directorate.
“The accused resided at the deceased’s homestead and were both members of the Jeke Mission Church,” said Ms Matsikidze.
“On March 18 last year the family members completed their fasting programme and went to Mpudzi River for cleansing. As per their custom the accused person, as the first son, was to conduct the cleansing of the whole family.
“Before leaving home the accused person asked the deceased to take from the kitchen a cascade container which had water laced with some poison. At the river the accused cleansed himself, other family members and lastly the deceased. Before immersing the deceased the accused asked him to bring the water bottle into the pool. After cleansing him he asked his father to drink the contents before the bottle was thrown into the river and swept away,” she said.
On arrival home at around 4pm, the deceased started vomiting and complained of stomach pains. He was ferried to a clinic in the morning the following day and he died there.
A few days after burial, the accused went to seek spiritual assistance from a spiritual healer whom he informed that the deceased was appearing in his dreams asking him why he killed him.
During the session, it emerged that the water in the cascade container had been toxic and it caused his father’s death.The deceased’s remains were exhumed and samples taken for scientific examination.
Although he is now denying the charges, Dereck is alleged to have confessed to his family members and to the police upon his arrest that he killed his father because he wanted to inherit the motor vehicle. ManicaPost