POLICE have said they are still investigating a case of a
woman who lived with the decomposing body of her 80-year-old husband while her
son identified as Grant Mashasha (39) was found hiding in a ceiling at their
Zengeza 3 home in Chitungwiza.
The discoveries made at Plaxedes Mashasha’s house on Monday
in Zengeza 3 left many residents shocked.
Grant was last seen by neighbours 14 years ago after they
were made to believe that he had gone to the United Kingdom.
“Grant was allegedly wanted for murdering his sibling. When
the deceased (Gideon — her husband) discovered that Grant wasn’t abroad, he
collapsed and died. The old woman didn’t want to tell anyone about her
husband’s death because she was so confused. She was afraid that Grant would be
discovered at the funeral,” a source said.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul
Nyathi told NewsDay that they were still conducting investigations.
He said: “We are conducting investigations with a view of
finding out what actually transpired and how this family has been living. Some
are saying the 39-year-old man found in the ceiling has a mental challenge.
“The mother claims that the father had suffered a stroke 30
years ago and she went for a church service on November 15 only to come back on
November 21 and found the doors locked. She then discovered that the husband
In an unrelated case, High Court judge Justice Rodgers
Manyangadze yesterday deferred the trial of suspected serial killer Bright
Zhantali to allow the State to determine the suspect’s mental status.
Zhantali is accused of raping, robbing and killing more
than 20 women.
The trial was supposed to start on Monday, but prosecutors
asked to have the case proceed in terms of the Mental Health Act upon
suspecting that he was not fit to stand trial.
The judge yesterday ruled that Zhantali should remain
locked up while being assessed by doctors before his trial kicks off.
“He cannot demand a verdict such as an acquittal and in the
circumstances it is the court’s considered view that the process is to continue
under section 28. The medical reports and State’s submissions, coupled with the
court’s own view of the accused makes it the only option available when dealing
with the accused,” the judge ruled.
“It is accordingly ordered that the accused be returned to
Chikurubi Psychiatric Unit. Accused shall remain so detained until his mental
state has been reviewed by a competent mental health tribunal.”
Section 28 of the Mental Health Act stipulates that the
accused has to be examined by two doctors before trial.
Zhantali made headlines earlier this year after he pleaded