The trial for the chilling suspected ritual murder of two innocent seven-year-old cousins, Melisa and Dylan Benza, has finally commenced at Mutare High Court. The heinous act that shook Kanganya Village in Mutasa back in April 2021 has gripped the community and the nation at large.
Principal prosecutor Mrs Jane-Rose Matsikidze revealed chilling details during the trial. The accused, Solomon Manyama and Passmore Sambaza, allegedly lured the children while they were on their way home from Mbaza Primary School. The tragic events unfolded as the accused allegedly connived to end the young lives of the inseparable cousins.
Mrs Matsikidze stated, “The accused persons connived and k!lled the two children in an abandoned home and concealed the bodies in a disused blair toilet. The abandoned homestead is close to Sambaza’s homestead. They attempted to cover the bloodstained grass using Sambaza’s hoe.”
The discovery of the blood-stained grass, the weeded portion near the toilet pit, and the blood-spattered clothes from Sambaza’s homestead painted a grim picture. Post-mortem examinations revealed the cause of d3ath: severe neck trauma, with both children bearing deep cuts on the left side of their necks.
Melisa’s father, Mr Douglas Taurai Benza, recounted the chilling moments when he last saw the children alive. “We waited in vain, and we decided to spread word that the two children were missing. A search commenced, but it was to no avail.”
The community rallied in a desperate search, involving students from Mbaza primary and high schools. Mr Leeroy Chiromba, one of the first to discover the bodies, recalled the harrowing moment: “I saw blood on the soil and called out my teammates. Together we searched further and saw grass and soil similar to that from the cleared patch.”
Constable Fanuel Kwenda, who attended the scene, provided a haunting testimony: “When the bodies were brought out from the toilet pit, I observed that both bodies had deep cuts on the left side of the neck.”
As the trial progresses, the State and the defence are set to present their closing submissions. Justice Isaac Muzenda is expected to deliver the judgment next Wednesday. The community eagerly awaits justice for the tragic loss of two innocent lives.