Slain diamond panner yet to be buried

THE family of a 25-year-old illegal diamond miner who was shot dead by a Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) security guard is crying foul over delays in carrying out a post-mortem for the deceased.


Terrence Masendeke, from Jori village under Chief Nyashanu, was part of the over 300 illegal diamond panners who invaded Bravo near Muchena in the Marange diamond fields, when he was shot dead on May 15.

Thomas Masendeke, the father to the deceased, yesterday said they have tried in vain to get their son’s remains from Mutare General Hospital mortuary for burial.

“My son died on May 15, and it is very clear that he was shot dead. We went to Mutare General Hospital on May 17 to collect the body so that we bury him in Buhera. But staff at Mutare General Hospital mortuary told us that the body would go to Harare on June 25 for post-mortem. That means the process will take 41 days,” he said.

“We were referred to the police, who had their own explanations that we failed to understand. Mourners are still gathered in Buhera. Surely, can we wait for 41 days to bury our relative? We are very aware that he was shot and we are surprised as to why the post-mortem process will not be done until June 25.”

Another relative, Richard Masendeke, said he suspected that the delay was to cover up underhand dealings going on at the diamond fields.

“I believe that they are fabricating falsehoods and buying time to save corrupt officers who were working with organised syndicates because the whole saga was a well-calculated one,” he said.

National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday directed the family to Officer Commanding Police in Manicaland, Senior Assistant Commissioner Wiklef Makamache.

“The family should go and see officer commanding in Manicaland, Senior Assistant Commissioner Makamache. I am now contacting his office over the matter,” he said.

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