Wednesday 2 December 2020



TAPIWA Makore (senior), who is in remand prison for allegedly killing his seven-year-old nephew for suspected ritual purposes, is counting losses after his hut was on Sunday morning gutted by fire.

The fire occurred a few hours after police had demolished Makore’s pit latrine and recovered skulls and some bones. On Saturday morning, Makore led a team of detectives to the recovery of the body parts at his homestead.

The following morning, villagers woke up to find the thatched kitchen in flames before a police report was made.

The cause of fire is still a mystery considering no one stays at that homestead. Officer Commanding Murehwa District Chief Superintendent George Mugonda confirmed receiving the fire report, saying investigations were still underway to ascertain the cause.

“We received the report on Sunday morning and some officers attended the scene in the company of Makore, who assisted in assessing the loss. The motive and cause of fire is yet to be established. We are still investigating,” he said.

When The Herald arrived at the homestead, only the cracked walls had remained. Ashes covered the floor while burnt pots, plates and cups were all over the structures.

Rubble of the demolished toilet were scattered in the yard while some animal skulls and other remains left behind by the detectives on Saturday were visible on the ground.

The Herald sought a comment from Chief Mangwende who indicated that it could be a case of arson perpetrated by some relatives who were not happy with the boy’s murder.

“A brief I got from the village head points to arson motivated by hatred among the family members, but police are still investigating to establish the truth.

“The village head was called on Sunday morning when the roof had already been burnt to ashes,” he said.

A villager who stays a few metres away from Makore’s homestead, Mr Summer Murwira, said he noticed an unusual brightness early Sunday morning and came out of his house to investigate.

However, like other villagers, he did not get closer to the homestead for fear of the unknown.

“On Sunday morning around 4am, I woke up and noticed some unusual brightness at Tapiwa Makore homestead. I also heard some unusual sounds. While outside, I established that the hut was on fire.  We just watched from a distance as no one got closer to the homestead,” he said.

Mr Murwira said the hut was burnt hours after an earthmover had demolished a toilet at the same homestead.

“The coincidence made us think the fire was part of a property destruction plan at the homestead. On Saturday we had seen an earthmover destroying the toilet. When I saw the fire on Sunday morning, I thought it was continuation of the previous day’s exercise,” he said.

Another villager Mr Lovetty Chirimuuta said the incident occurred when he was fast asleep and was surprised to see the damage in the morning.

“I think it happened when I was asleep. I did not hear anything, but I was shocked to see the hut roofless,” he said. A member of the neighbourhood watch committee, Mr Munanga, said he got information on the fire and immediately called the police.

“I called the police and detectives came to assess the damage and investigate. I personally think this is an inside job. It appears some family members, affected by the murder of Tapiwa could have started the fire.

“But the police will investigate and get to the bottom of the matter,” he said. Skulls and bones were on Saturday recovered from the toilet as police intensify their hunt for the missing skull and limbs of the seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore (Junior) who was murdered for suspected ritual purposes.

All the recovered remains were sent for forensic tests to determine if they are of human or animal origin and if there are linked to the murdered boy.

Also recovered from Makore (Snr)’s house in Nyamutumbu Village was a blood-stained tail of a yet to be identified animal.

Makore (Snr) is in remand prison awaiting trial after he was arrested in September on charges of murdering his brother’s child with the help of his herdsman, Tafadzwa Shamba, who is also remanded in custody and has reportedly confessed to being involved.

Recent police investigations into the boy’s ritual murder found that an 11-year-old boy also from Nyamutumbu Village was allegedly paid US$5 to lure the seven-year-old from his parents’ garden to his uncle’s homestead.

The uncle, Tapiwa Makore (Snr), allegedly gave the boy US$5 plus a T-shirt for the role he played, before warning him against disclosing the matter to anyone. The boy allegedly handed over the money to his mother who kept the secret.

Recently, Makore (Snr)’s brother, Thanks Makore, was arrested in connection with the murder of Makore (Jnr), on allegations that he was given the boy’s head and arms.

Police extensively searched Thanks Makore’s house in Damofalls, Ruwa, although they reportedly found no remains. He has since appeared before a Mutoko magistrate who remanded him in custody.

The two brothers and three other suspects are in remand prison pending the completion of investigations and the probable murder trial. Herald


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