ANGRY after their son was killed in a fight over beer, a family in Gokwe’s area of Chisina 2 in Ward 24 left villagers shocked after it buried the body of the slain in a shallow grave at the homestead of the murderer.
The killer’s family reportedly cowered in the background as the deceased’s family conducted rituals at the makeshift grave.
A family member who spoke on condition of anonymity said Munyaradzi Chemhere’s family demanded 40 head of cattle as compensation from his killer, Give Takawira’s family.
The area’s traditional leader Chief Njelele joined hands with neighbouring Chief Chisina to bring the ugly situation under control.
“Chiefs had to pacify the family and negotiate with both families. In the end the killer’s family paid six beasts and the aggrieved family exhumed the body and buried it at their homestead,” said the source.
An insider in the family explained how Takawira killed Chemhere.
“Takawira told police that they had an argument over who should buy the next round of beer. They fought and Give stabbed him twice in the chest. He fled and left him gasping for air in a pool of blood. A community member administered first aid and he died while he was being ferried to Gokwe District Hospital,” said the family member.
The source said there was chaos as Chemhere’s family dug a pit at the Takawiras’ homestead and buried their son.
No one could stop them as they appeared emotionally charged and had faces like thunder which showed that they were prepared to fight whoever would attempt to stop them.
“They were angry over the callous murder of their son whom they described as the pillar of the family and unifier,” said the source.
He added: “They buried the late Chemhere at Takawira’s homestead and did rituals on the grave and I believe they were summoning avenging spirits (uzimu/ ngozi),” he said.
“We can’t say that was a proper burial because they just dug a shallow grave before they buried the remains of their beloved son and left while threatening to beat any member of Takawira’s family who tried to challenge them,” said the source.
The two chiefs, said the source, prevented a nasty bloodbath as Chemhere’s family appeared bent on revenge.
“Three days after burial, the family agreed to exhume their son and bury him properly at their homestead. I think the chiefs showed true leadership which resulted in harmony prevailing,” said the family member.
Chief Njelele confirmed the incident.
“We noted with concern that it’s unAfrican and it’s against our culture therefore we ordered the family to exhume the body which had been buried for three days and instructed them to bury it in their homestead. Chemhere’s family had demanded forty beasts as appeasement but we had to negotiate that number downwards and reached an agreement that they pay six,” said Chief Njelele.
He added: “I then summoned both families to my traditional court on 11 January for further deliberations over this matter.”