. . . as family members are dragged to court
There has been a new twist in the case of Ruwa doctor Dr Johannes Marisa, whose mansion burnt down after he dragged his nephew, driver and gardener to court, accusing them of stealing cash and burning down the house to conceal evidence.
The trio of Blessing Mahutse, 20, Simon Chavhundutsa 19, and Garikayi Ekaya, 36, were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko facing theft and malicious damage to property charges.
Mahutse is a son to Dr Marisa’s sister while Chavhunduka and Ekaya were employed as drivers and gardeners respectively.
The court also heard that Mahutse and Chavhunduka lived at the mansion and had access to the complainant’s bedroom where the money was kept.
The trio were remanded in custody until February 8 for bail considerations.
Mahutse and Chavhunduka, it is alleged, entered into the complainant’s bedroom, broke the wardrobe locks and stole a bag containing US$50 000.
Gardener Ekaya is said to have taken two liters of petrol from the store room which was meant for the lawn mower and used it to burn down the house in connivance with the other two accused, the court heard.
It is the State’s case that to cover-up for the offence, the trio lied to the complainant that the fire was caused by lightning.
In efforts to establish how his mansion had caught fire, the doctor hired experts from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) who ruled out an electrical fault, leading to the arrest of the trio.
According to the state, Mahutsi deliberately made no effort to rescue Dr Marisa’s children who were in the prayer room.
It is alleged he entered the room they were in when the fire started and walked out of the room without rescuing the children or taking some property outside.
The children had to jump out through the windows.