Wimbainashe Zhakata and Jowel Mugariwa Post Correspondents
VILLAGERS in Chitakatira were left shell shocked last week after the body of a 42 year old man was exhumed a week after his burial following revelations that he had been poisoned by his son over inheritance.
Allegations are that, Dereck Chitakatira poisoned his father, Lloyd Chitakatira to death during a fasting session by administering rat poison in a bottle of water because he wanted to inherit his father’s car.
Manicaland Police Spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa confirmed the incident.
He said: “On March 8 Dereck inserted rat poison into a container and diluted it with water. His father gulped the mixture and instantly became ill.”
Insp Kakohwa added that both the accused and the deceased went to church for fasting at Mpudzi River on March 8 where they washed themselves in the river and drank water afterwards as part of their church belief.
“Dereck took advantage of the situation and gave his father some water to drink. It is alleged that he put rat poison into a bottle before he gave his father to drink,” said Insp Kakohwa.
He consumed the mixture and instantly became ill.
Chitakatira was taken to Chitakatira Clinic for treatment but it was too late. He died on March 10.
The family members together with the church decided to bury the deceased on March 11 without a post-mortem being conducted.
However the body was exhumed after five days and ferried to Mutare General Hospital for post-mortem, which indicated that he died from rat poisoning.
Emerging details also indicate that Dereck visited a traditional healer in Burma valley to seek protection from the avenging spirit of his father.
The traditional healer reportedly instructed Dereck to write a letter confessing and admitting that he poisoned his father to death over a car and submit it to him for further rituals.
It is further alleged that Dereck complied with the instruction and submitted the letter to the traditional healer before he returned home.
Sources said despite the traditional healer’s promise that nothing was going to haunt him, Dereck could not find peace, as nightmares and suspected visitations by the late father’s spirit that are traditionally believed to be caused by an avenging spirit kept haunting him, which prompted family members to take him to the police for further probing.
The letter was later handed over to the police on the day that the accused was arrested.
In an interview with the Manica Post the widow of the deceased, Special Makunika said: “I was robbed of my husband; I cannot stomach the pain. I am failing to understand what kind of spirit came over my son to do such a heinous thing.”
She added: “Whenever something like this happens in the community, people always see the widow as an outcast and shun the family.”
Insp Kakohwa urged members of the public to desist from criminal acts like murder but seek peaceful means to settle misunderstandings, as murder entails a permanent termination of one’s life.
On March 16, Dereck appeared before Mutare Magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe, facing a murder charge.
He was charged with violating Section 47 of The Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23.
He was not asked to plead to the murder charges when he appeared in court and was remanded to March 26 without an option of bail.