The incident occurred at Mazonde Village, Chief Kasekete in Muzarabani, on July 30 2012, leading to the arrest of five family members who are now being charged with murder. The five appeared at the High Court in Harare yesterday facing a murder charge.
High Court judge Justice Owen Tagu heard that on the day in question, Learnmore Mutero, Tonderai Muswere, Michael Muchengeti, Manasa Mutero, and Nicholas Mutero allegedly invited Kanyama and his colleague Dick Benson to conduct a cleansing ceremony at their homestead.
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The court heard that the five men allegedly wanted their home exorcised of evil spirits hired by their father, Zvidzai Muchengeti, to cause mysterious deaths in the family.
Kanyama allegedly told the family that the cleansing process entailed him being buried alive in a pit dug at the homestead to enable him to summon more powers to drive away the evil spirits.
Zvidzai, who has turned State witness, told the court that Kanyama assisted in the digging of the pit and later prayed before he jumped inside, lay himself face down and ordered the family members to cover him with soil.
“He pegged a grave-shaped pit in front of my hut and asked for help to dig the pit. Deceased requested to be buried alive so that he would gain power to drive away the evil forces,” Zvidzai said.
Justice Tagu heard, as the men were in the process of filling the pit, one Joseph Taderera asked the five men to stop, but Kanyama urged them on.
“I warned the men of the danger that would result in their actions, but my advice fell on deaf ears because Kanyama shouted at me saying I was disturbing his angels and he urged them to continue filling the pit saying he would later come out alive,” Taderera told the court.
Taderera said the family later dug up the pit and discovered that Kanyama was already dead.
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