Murder trial: Brig Gen’s wife gets court reprieve


HARARE – A top military commander’s wife, who allegedly unleashed two soldiers on her 13-year-old nephew she accused of stealing $70, has been granted temporary reprieve, following the State’s failure to furnish her with a trial date.

Cleopatra Shingirai Mutisi is the wife of Brigadier-General Francis Mutisi.

She and her alleged soldier accomplices Tafara Frank Gusha and Tafadzwa Shayanewako are facing a murder charge.

However, Harare magistrate Don Ndirowei on Tuesday removed the trio from remand, after ruling that the State was “unreasonably delaying in furnishing” them with a trial date.

The State will proceed by way of summons.

They initially appeared in court in November last year.

According to State papers, Gusha and Shayanewako were assigned to guard Mutisi’s residence situated at 85 Dickson Drive, Hogarth Hills in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.

The court heard how Mutisi allegedly took her nephew to Hatcliffe Police Post, claiming he had stolen money meant for workers who were repairing a borehole at the house.

While at the police station, Mutisi allegedly instructed a police sergeant only identified as Banda to assault the now deceased Tafara Matanhire, so that he confesses to stealing the money.

The police officer refused, the court heard.

She locked the minor for two days without food or water before ordering Gusha and Shayanewako to assault him and recover the money, the court was told.

According to State papers, the two soldiers took Matanhire to the cottage where they assaulted him overnight using hosepipes.

Mutisi allegedly joined the army men in the morning to assault the boy before leaving for her rural home in Maramba.

The teen was left in Gusha and Shayanewako’s custody, the court heard.

Realising the juvenile had died, the two soldiers contacted Mutisi, resulting in the trio hatching a plan to file a false police report that the minor had been assaulted by unknown assailants at school, the court heard.

Matanhire’s body was taken to Harare Hospital for a post mortem and it was found that he had died from severe head injuries and subdural haemorrhage (collection of blood outside the brain).

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