Wednesday 31 January 2024


A DRAMATIC day, in which a shameless attempt was made to try and alter the birth records of the teenager who died after giving birth to twins, ended with the man who raped and impregnated the deceased girl being arrested last night.

A vehicle, which was ferrying the body of the girl to Murehwa for burial, was intercepted by police and forced to return to Highlands Police Station.

That is where Tatenda Zhanje, the Glenwood man who raped and impregnated the teenage Yeukai Dandara, who died two weeks after giving birth to twins, was arrested.

Initial reports claimed Yeukai was 14 before the story changed last night amid other claims that she was 16.

Her medical records at the Sally Mugabe Hospital were altered yesterday to try and give an impression that Yeukai was 18.

Tatenda had been missing, with some relatives insinuating he went into hiding, until his appearance at Highlands Police Station.

He was not with the family when they collected Yeukai’s body from Sally Mugabe Hospital.

He first indicated that he was 24, before changing his story to say he was 22 and, when he was challenged to produce his identity card, he claimed it had been lost on his way to the police station.

Tatenda was released to allow him to bury Yeukai and is expected to report to the police on Monday for further questioning.

The alterations on the records at the hospital had been made to suggest that Yeukai was 18.

Some reports last night suggested that a new birth certificate was acquired for Yeukai yesterday.

Yeukai Dandara’s original birth certificate was destroyed and a new one claiming she was 18 was applied for and issued yesterday.

H-Metro was inundated with calls from women who wanted to help the twins and their guardian Veronica Zhanje, the mother of Tatenda.

Medical records in possession of H-Metro, filed at the maternity ward at Sally Mugabe Hospital, clearly showed an altered age record, indicating that medical staff might either have been misled by Tatenda Zhanje’s family or worked in cohorts with him.

When the police Victim Friendly Unit team arrived at the hospital, the family had collected Yeukai’s body and were on their way to Dandara Village in Murehwa.

When H-Metro visited Tatenda’s rented place in Glenwood yesterday, his landlady fumed that he had dumped Yeukai’s belongings at the house.

“Imimi muri hama yemurume here? Vamwe venyu vabva pano izvezvi vachitiza.

“They left the deceased’s clothes scattered and we heard them discussing that Tatenda had to be hidden.

“They tore the deceased’s original birth certificate and were planning to acquire another one in order to get a burial order.

“Tatenda has been staying here for the past seven months and failed to pay rent for the past two months.

“The deceased’s relatives never came here, as they are at loggerheads with the Zhanje family,” said the landlady.

Yeukai’s aunt, Evernice Dandara, signed documents for her burial order number 1567/24.

Medical records showed that Yeukai gave birth to twins on January 10 at Sally Mugabe Maternity Hospital.

She returned to the same hospital on January 24, after developing complications, and passed away on January 25.

The babies are said to be in good health and being cared for by Tatenda’s mother. H Metro 


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