Granny who spent days with decomposing corpse remanded in custody
Plaxedes Mashasha, the elderly Chitungwiza woman who allegedly spent days with her 80-year-old husband’s decomposing body in the house without alerting the police, yesterday appeared at the Chitungwiza Magistrates Court.
Mashasha (66) appeared before Chitungwiza regional magistrate Mr Clever Tsikwa charged with culpable homicide and pleaded not guilty. She was remanded in custody to December 9.
The state led by Ms Pamela Dzinduwa requested that Mashasha go through medical examination before the trial commences.
According to Dzinduwa “Mashasha allegedly left her now late husband Gideon critically ill in the custody of their mentally challenged son, Grant Mashasha.”
She went to an unknown place knowing that her husband needed close attention. She left him in the blankets in their bedroom.
As a result, the husband died and the body decomposed while Mashasha pretended to be failing to access the house.
She alleged that her son had locked the door from inside and could not open it for days.
Ms Dzinduwa further told the court that there was gross negligence, which resulted in the death of Gideon as he lacked access to food and medical attention.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is investigating the case.
The shocking incident happened at Mashasha’s house on Monday in Zengeza 3. It became more astonishing after her son, identified as Grant Mashasha (39) , was found hiding in a ceiling.
It is said that Grant was last seen by neighbours 14 years ago after they were made to believe that he had gone to the United Kingdom.
The two have since been arrested and forensic investigations are being done by the homicide department.
“Grant was allegedly wanted for murdering his sibling. When the deceased (Gideon — her husband) discovered that Grant wasn’t abroad, he collapsed and died. The old woman didn’t want to tell anyone about her husband’s death because she was so confused.
“She was afraid that Grant would be discovered at the funeral,” a source told NewsDay.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations are still underway.
He said: “We are conducting investigations with a view of finding out what actually transpired and how this family has been living. Some are saying the 39-year-old man found in the ceiling has a mental challenge.
“The mother claims that the father had suffered a stroke 30 years ago and she went for a church service on November 15 only to come back on November 21 and found the doors locked. She then discovered that the husband had died.”
It is suspected, however, that the whole development is connected to possible witchcraft.
In an unrelated case, the ZRP on Wednesday confirmed that investigations were being conducted in connection with the discovery of four bodies of male adults on 22/11/11 at a bushy area near 174 KM peg along Harare –Nyamapanda Road, Suswe Pass, Mudzi, Mutoko.
“Once the Police establish the full details, the public will be informed accordingly,” ZRP said in a statement.