Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Zimbabwe: Ruwa Murder - Boy Accuses Father of Witchcraft

Yet another story of witchcraft still alive in Zimbabwe
8 July 2009

Harare — The 17-year-old Ruwa boy charged with killing his parents in cold blood last year has, in turn, accused his father of using him as a "goblin" to sustain his "mysterious" business empire.
The teenager made the startling claims when his trial opened before High Court judge Justice Tendayi Uchena on Monday. The boy allegedly gunned down his father and mother at their Ruwa home in April last year.
It is alleged that he shot his father in the head before heading to the bedroom where he opened fire on his mother who had been awakened by the gunshots.
According to reports, the father had, on the fateful day, woken up the boy at around 3am so that he could study. The teenager pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder.
In his defence outline, the boy's lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, claimed that during the study sessions, which were closed to other family members, his father would burn some roots and unspecified substances. The burning would invariably lead to some "body malaise and dizziness", reads the defence outline.
Adv Mpofu further submitted that over the weekends preceding the fateful day, the boy would spend around 19 hours in an unconscious state that only his father could break.
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"Such was the accused's strange routine. The accused is now positively aware that he was being used as a goblin by his father in order to sustain and support his mysterious and vast business interests," Adv Mpofu said.
The boy's father ran a security company, among other businesses. However, the psychiatric report that forms part of the defence established that the boy suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, fits affecting half of the brain.
"His conduct that morning was not voluntary and he committed the acts he is charged with without conscious knowledge. His actions were brought about by either the temporal lobe epilepsy or (the) spiritual world to which he had descended into," Adv Mpofu said.
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Key State witness Mr Admire Musasa (24), who is related to the boy, yesterday gave his account of the events he witnessed early in the morning after the shooting. He said at around 5am a maid came to his bedroom and woke him up.
"She was looking worried and asked me to come with her. I got dressed and followed her to the dining room. I saw my uncle (the boy's father) seated on his chair with his head facing down on the table with his books," he said.
"I observed a white substance coming out from the back of his head. I shook him, but he did not respond," he testified. Mr Musasa said he then went up stairs with the intention of informing his aunt about "the horrible scene".
When he got to his aunt's bedroom, Mr Musasa said he found the door wide open and observed that there was disorder in the room.
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He then went to his other aunt's bedroom and informed her before going to the teenager's bedroom to report the matter. Mr Musasa said after Ms Spiwe Chakuvinga, the younger sister to the boy's mother, entered the bedroom, she came out looking very worried.
"Her face had completely changed. Together we went downstairs. She also shook her brother-in-law in the same way I had done," he said.
While in the dining room, Mr Musasa said they heard the maid identified only as Precious shouting at the top of her voice: "Amai vapfurwawo futi (Mother has also been shot dead)."
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The trial is now being held in open court following a successful application by the defence. Last month the court barred the Press from covering the proceedings, saying only close relatives were allowed into the courtroom because the suspect was a minor.
In terms of the law, court proceedings involving minor children ought to be conducted in camera.
However, Adv Mpofu argued there was no law that automatically obliged such proceedings to be held in camera.
He cited several case laws to support his contention, which was opposed by the State.
After considering arguments presented by both the defence and State counsels, the court ruled in favour of the defence.
However, in terms of the law it is the defence that can apply to have proceedings in such cases held in camera and not the State.
Adv Mpofu is being instructed by Ms Sharon Maphosa of Mawere and Sibanda law firm.

1 comment:

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