HE mystery surrounding the whereabouts of slain seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore’s missing head and hands has deepened.
The traditional healer suspected to be the brains behind the ritual murder is saying it was pure coincidence that he happened to visit the village the week that the boy disappeared and was allegedly murdered.
Tapiwa disappeared on Thursday September 17, only for his torso to be dragged by dogs into a village compound the following morning.
Tinei Makore, also known as Marvellous Muchedzi, who is a known traditional healer, had left the village the previous day, Wednesday September 16.
The Sunday Mail tracked him down and found him at his compound in the Mvurwi farming area. He confirmed that he had, indeed, visited his home village in the three days preceding Tapiwa’s disappearance and subsequent murder.
He revealed that he spent his three-day stay in the village with Tapiwa Makore Senior, the co-accused in the disappearance and alleged murder of Tapiwa Junior.
“I had been away from my village for slightly more than a year. I got a witch-hunting job to do at Chabwino Farm, in the Shamva area and after I was paid, I decided to go home and catch up with my cousins,” narrated Tinei.
“I left this farm (Mvurwi area) on Saturday and arrived in Makore village Monday. Since I moved out of the village some three years back and there is no one staying in the home which we used to stay, Tapiwa Senior said I could spend my days in the village staying with him.
“On the Monday, we spent time in the village mixing with other folks, trying to catch up. That night I slept at Tapiwa’s home. The following day, I spent almost the whole of it attending to my motorbike which had a puncture.
“Tapiwa Senior said he was going to work with other villagers on deepening his well, as the water was no longer enough for his cabbages.”
Tinei said he slept at Tapiwa Senior’s home as well that Tuesday evening before bidding him farewell on Wednesday morning as he returned to Mvurwi.
“I stopped-over at Kashiri’s place, Fraser Farm, around the Bindura area, on my way here. I slept there Thursday and arrived back on Friday. Then on Saturday morning, I received a call from the person I had visited at Chabwino, asking me if it was true, the news that was coming from Makore village that a child had been found murdered.
“That is how I got to know that there had been a murder back in my village. I told him I was back in Mvurwi and had not heard anything. Then the news started circulating on social media and I phoned some relatives back home, only to find out if it was true.”
A self-confessed traditional healer since 1992, “when I was 20 years old”, Tinei said it was happenstance that he decided to visit his village the same week that Tapiwa Junior disappeared and coincidental that he stayed with Tapiwa Senior, the co-accused in the disappearance and murder of Tapiwa Junior.
Chief Superintendent George Mugonda, Officer in Charge at Murehwa Police Station, confirmed that Tinei is a suspect, though they were not sure about his whereabouts.
“We have been informed by the family that a relative, for long known as a traditional healer, visited the village in the days leading to the disappearance of Tapiwa Junior. We are yet to interview him as we don’t know his whereabouts,” the police supremo in Murehwa district said.
At Makore village, Munyaradzi Makore and wife, the parents of the murdered boy, said though they do not have any conclusive evidence linking Tinei to the murder, what they cannot understand is the coincidence around their relative, a known tsikamutanda (witch hunter), visiting at about the same time their son disappeared.
“For the time being we are working with what Tafadzwa Shamba has indicated and further than that, we are not privileged to comment neither can we assume. Just that the coincidence is too much to stomach for us. We will leave the police to conclude their investigations,” said Munyaradzi, the father.
Chief Supt Mugonda said besides Shamba’s confessions, which led to the discovery of the boy’s legs, they have no further information.
“The co-accused, Tapiwa Makore Senior, is refusing any involvement in the murder. In fact, he is not saying anything apart from his name. So all the information that we have so far, is what Tafadzwa has told us.”
According to Makore villagers, Tapiwa Senior lived in Harare for several years before returning to the village in July this year with a proposal to do a cabbage project. And for effect, there are times he came with his “investors” to have a look at his settings.
The long-term plan was to drill a borehole, with the help of the “investors”. However, after a couple of visits, the “investors” stopped coming to the village for the progress checks. Besides the cabbage nursery, land had been prepared for transplanting the same.