Thursday, 7 July 2022


SOME relatives of the late former Lands and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri appear to have acquired multiple names to fraudulently benefit from the national hero’s estate.

A wrangle over the administration of the Estate has spilled into the courts amid claims that some children reportedly not biological were listed as beneficiaries through “forged documents.”

One of Shiri’s children, Rufaro Stephanie, in 2020 challenged the alleged fraudulent administration of her father’s estate at the High Court under case number HC 399/20 reference DR1022/20.

Shiri’s five children who are Tatenda, Cynthia, Rufaro Stephanie (all with the Shiri surname), Tawanda Zulu and Tanaka Musvamhiri were listed as the beneficiaries to his estate.

Tawanda and Tanaka’s paternities to the late minister were in doubt because they do not carry the Shiri surname.

According to a document seen by NewsDay, on September 24, 2020, Tanaka Stephan Musvamhiri conducted DNA tests with her alleged uncle Whiteford Chikerema to prove her paternity to the late minister.

Information gathered showed that Whiteford Chikerema was named Cosmas Chikerema as a legal guardian in Shiri’s 1995 Will that bequeathed 50% of his bank savings, insurance policies to his now late son Titus and the other half of savings to his children Tatenda and Cynthia, and all his other children who were yet to be born and to come.

The same Cosmas Chikerema is also identified as Whitehead Chikerema according to his identity particulars seen by NewsDay.

Rufaro Stephanie has queried why Chikerema would use three different names in affairs to do with her father’s estate.

“Tanaka only had DNA tests done on the 24th of September in 2020 two months after my father’s death with a Whiteford Chikerema who is my father’s biological brother who has since acquired three names since the death of my father,” Rufaro said.

“Cosmas Chikerema is the name everyone knows in the family and the name present in the 1995 Will confirms him as the legal guardian, Whitehead Chikerema and Whiteford Chikerema also being other names obtained for (unknown) purposes in the estate of my late father.

“The DNA test results confirm the percentage of their relatedness as 99% so is it that Tanaka really doesn’t know who her father is or she is still in denial and would have preferred my late father? The DNA suggests her biological father is Whiteford Chikerema and she is a member of the Chikerema family not ‘Shiri’ family.”

In an interview with NewsDay, Tanaka curtly said: “I have no comment on that issue anymore. The law will take its course.”

In response to Rufaro’s doubt on her paternity, in a letter dated June 1, 2021 addressed to the Master of the High Court, Tanaka confirmed that she never stayed with the deceased, but had joined the Shiri family after his death.

Rufaro also wonders why her father would have considered giving his daughters the Shiri surname while Tawanda kept the Zulu name despite her being the heir to his clan name, according to tradition.

Last week, Tanaka filed a case at the High Court seeking to compel Rufaro and Tawanda to undergo a DNA test to ascertain their paternity to Shiri.

But Rufaro said her paternity was not in doubt.

No comment could be obtained from Zulu as he continuously rejected calls from NewsDay.

Peter Zimondi, who reportedly regarded himself as the legal guardian of Shiri’s children yesterday distanced himself from the estate wrangle.

“I have nothing to do with it,” he said. “Only his children are involved and they will solve it on their own. I am not Shiri’s child so I am not involved.”

Contacted for comment, Benjamin Chikerema initially confirmed he was Benjamin, but later said he had answered the phone on Benjamin’s behalf because he was away. Newsday


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