Shock­ing mur­der in Buhera

. . . Ac­cused eats vic­tim’s flesh

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Sa­muel Kadun­gure Se­nior Re­porter

IN A mor­bid act of can­ni­bal­ism, a Buhera man al­legedly hacked a four year-old girl to death, cut up her right arm and con­sumed it as he fled the scene with mem­bers of the pub­lic in hot pur­suit.

Hu­man can­ni­bal­ism is the act of hu­mans eat­ing the flesh of other hu­man be­ings.

The shock­ing in­ci­dent hap­pened in Mute­mera Vil­lage, in Head­man Betera’s area, un­der Chief Nyashanu where On­well Ndenga Mute­mera (36), al­legedly killed Mon­ica Senger­ayi us­ing an axe and chopped off her right arm and later con­fessed eat­ing it say­ing he was hun­gry.

To but­tress his con­fes­sion, the can­ni­bal al­legedly pro­duced a pound of hu­man flesh wrapped in a plas­tic as proof.

The hu­man flesh was handed to po­lice for patho­log­i­cal test whose re­sults con­firmed be­longed to Mon­ica.

The de­ceased’s father De­ploy Senger­ayi was last Thurs­day called to Mu­ram­binda Po­lice sta­tion where he was ad­vised of the find­ings and in­structed to bury the hu­man flesh.

Man­i­ca­land po­lice spokesper­son In­spec­tor Tavhir­ingwa Kakowa con­firmed the mur­der of Mon­ica on De­cem­ber 5, 2017 and ar­rest of Mute­mera on mur­der charges.

“Mem­ory Mu­ruku (36) and De­ploy Senger­ayi (36) left their mur­dered daugh­ter Mon­ica Senger­ayi (4) and her six years old sis­ter play­ing at their home while go­ing to the field. Mute­mera, who is sus­pected to be men­tally chal­lenged, went to Senger­ayi’s home armed with an axe, and hacked Mon­ica to death and chopped off her right arm. The mi­nor’s body was found ly­ing in a pool of blood by alert neigh­bours. Mute­mera dumped the mur­der weapon (axe) be­sides Mon­ica’s life­less body and van­ished with her sliced arm,” said In­spec­tor Kakowa.

When vis­ited Betera Vil­lage last week to get an in­sight into the in­trigu­ing oc­cur­rence, get­ting di­rec­tions was not dif­fi­cult as Mute­mera’s can­ni­bal­is­tic shenani­gans were fresh on the lips of many, in­clud­ing chil­dren.

The com­mu­nity how­ever, frowned upon it say­ing it was a taboo.

The be­reaved fam­ily was at loss of words to de­scribe the tragedy that struck them.

The de­ceased’s father was vis­i­bly seething with anger while her mother wore the veg­etable out­look and fre­quently passed out.

It was in­deed a painful and heart rend­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“How could he killed my daugh­ter and de­voured her flesh in broad day­light. He had the guts to pro­duce part of the flesh in full glare of mem­bers of the com­mu­nity. I buried my daugh­ter mi­nus the miss­ing arm which he had con­sumed,” said Mr Senger­ayi.

“When he was ar­rested af­ter evad­ing the search team for 38 km, he was naked, but his mouth, chest, hands and feet were all bloody. The pre­vi­ous day he tried to rape my other daugh­ter. He is an evil can­ni­bal who ate my daugh­ter’s flesh in a sick­en­ing rit­ual,” he added.

His wife Mem­ory now fears the worst af­ter po­lice in­formed the fam­ily that the flesh taken for patho­log­i­cal tests be­longed to her daugh­ter.

She said On­well was a well known scan­dalous and ag­gres­sive man, who was feared for mov­ing around with an axe and knife.

“I am trau­ma­tised. I do not know how I will re­ha­bil­i­tate my other daugh­ter who wit­nessed her sis­ter be­ing hacked to death. Can the im­ages be erased? This is a dou­ble tragedy; imagine a young child wit­ness­ing the hor­ror of her sis­ter be­ing axed to death,” she said.

“I left them play­ing, but was shocked on my re­turn to see peo­ple camped at my homestead mourn­ing. Three women rushed to­wards me cry­ing, and told me that Mon­ica had been axed to death by On­well. I passed out. I am still in se­ri­ous pain, and never had the guts to view her body. I can’t be­lieve that my daugh­ter is no more. It is like she will come home from wherever she is play­ing. I of­ten times call her name, only to realise she is dead. This was the worst thing. I don’t think there will be any tragedy worse than hav­ing a child hacked to death, and her flesh eaten just like that,” she said with tears run­ning down her cheeks.

Mr Senger­ayi said po­lice re­fused to cre­mate Mon­ica’s re­mains. He said his fam­ily and Head­man Betera were con­sult­ing Chief Nyashanu on the way for­ward.

“They said we can­not cre­mate the re­mains, and we are en­gag­ing Head­man Betera and Chief Nyashanu for a way for­ward. This is akin to pok­ing a fresh wound. We had buried Mon­ica, and chances are we are go­ing to re­open her grave and throw the re­mains in as we can­not have two graves for one per­son. We have been in­structed to bury the re­mains, and it is trau­ma­tis­ing to bury the same body twice. I will never for­give On­well for what he did. I just can­not. I in­spected Mon­ica’s body, and dis­cov­ered that she had deep cuts on the chin, back, legs, left arm and her stom­ach was ripped open,” said Mr Senger­ayi.

The de­ceased’s granny, Mrs Eve­lyn Senger­ayi, said On­well should rot in jail.

“On­well knew what he was do­ing. He ar­rived at De­ploy’s homestead with an axe, but he opted to use the one he found at the homestead to com­mit the of­fence. Af­ter killing the child he dropped off the mur­der weapon and took away the one he had brought as well as the child’s arm. At first he de­nied it, but af­ter fur­ther in­ter­ro­ga­tion he ad­mit­ted and gave a de­tailed chronol­ogy of how he ex­e­cuted the of­fence and the mo­tive be­hind it. No in­sane per­son can put facts to­gether like that,” said Mrs Senger­ayi.

Mrs Han­nah Mute­meri, On­well’s aunt, said her fam­ily was sad­dened by the mur­der of Mon­ica. She said they were charged 27 cat­tle to ap­pease the de­ceased’s spirit.

They paid four live cat­tle and an as­sort­ment of small live­stock and build­ing ma­te­ri­als, which amounted to 18 cat­tle.

They also paid $700.

“We are still to pay nine more cat­tle, and we are busy mo­bil­is­ing. We want to set­tle this mat­ter am­i­ca­bly, On­well is my brother, and what he did was bad. He killed an in­no­cent child, and the en­tire fam­ily is work­ing to­wards cleans­ing the spilled blood. They buried a child with­out a hand, af­ter he ate it, and it’s sad,” she said.

Head­man Betera said the Senger­ayis had de­manded 45 cat­tle, but told them it was il­le­gal as the max­i­mum penalty was 15 cat­tle.

She con­demned On­well’s con­duct, while de­scrib­ing his of­fence as the first of its kind.

“It’s a taboo in our cul­ture to eat hu­man flesh. Our cul­ture frowns upon it. This is the first act of can­ni­bal­ism in Ward 20.

“On­well has been a dan­ger to so­ci­ety for a very long time, and I once en­gaged his fam­ily about it but they did noth­ing to ad­dress it. He must be in­car­cer­ated be­cause he is a dan­ger to my sub­jects,” she said.

She said it is sus­pected that by killing and per­form­ing the eat­ing rit­ual, one will be try­ing to ab­sorb her soul and sup­press it from aveng­ing.

The vic­tim's mother points to the spot where her daugh­ter was axed

The vic­tim's father De­ploy Senger­ayi

Mon­ica's grave cov­ered with thorn tree branches

Head­man Betera

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