Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe Wednesday left lawmakers in shock after telling them he was unaware that a Murewa boy, Tapiwa Makore (7), who died last September in a suspected murder ritual, was buried without his head.
The Grade One pupil, who made national, and international news headlines, was murdered in cold blood allegedly by his uncle, and his house helper, was buried in March after spending months in a morgue as police searched for his head and other missing body parts.
The head remains missing.
The issue came to light as MPs demanded answers from Kazembe over the increase in kidnappings and murders for suspected ritual purposes across the country.
During a question and answer session, MDC-T MP Memory Mbondiah asked Kazembe about the government's policy regarding arrests and prosecution of suspects accused of murdering school children and why some of the suspects were being granted bail and escaping to other countries.
"What is the government doing pertaining to the killings of children and mutilation that has been seen happening across the country? Over the past few months, we have seen children being killed and their bodies found in places like septic tanks," she said.
"What is the government doing in regards to these perpetrators and the witchdoctors who are conniving with them to kill children for ritual purposes?"
In response, Kazembe said the state was carrying further investigations as arrests had been made in most of the murder cases, but professed his ignorance that Makore had been buried without his head.
However, MDC Alliance Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala updated Kazembe on that Makore had been buried without his head, and questioning why the police had failed to investigate the matter.
"There is a very important matter that has been widely reported both locally and internationally on one child who was killed for ritual purposes, Tapiwa Makore. We later realised his body was buried without his head. Did the police fail to investigate the whereabouts of the head or what? The country is waiting for the answer," said Sikhala.
Kazembe responded saying; "As the government, we are seized with the matter. In fact, I would like to think that maybe the Hon. Member wants to know what the government policy is with regards to crimes that are being committed in that regard. This is worrisome and whenever such a crime is committed, the police will investigate and arrest and this is happening.
"On the question by Hon. Sikhala, investigations were carried out and forensic audits were done. The (Makore) family was not satisfied with what the government had done but the government had used all the available laboratories to carry out the forensic audits. I can go and find out about specifics raised."
"I am not very sure if the child was buried without the complete body but if that is the case, I will go and bring the correct answer after asking the police themselves. What I am aware of is forensic audits were done and the family was not very satisfied," Kazembe told the MPs.
The minister promised the government would increase public awareness to dissuade criminals from committing rituals murders which were unheard of in Zimbabwe before.
However, Zanu PF Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba blamed the government for not doing enough regarding the prosecution of the ritual murder suspects who normally are given bail and escape to neighbouring countries.
"People are granted bail and whenever they get a chance of getting out of prison, they run away to as far as South Africa. What programmes are there to thoroughly investigate a case before someone gets a chance to run away?" Chinotimba queried.
In response, Kazembe said; "The rights of those who have been convicted will be respected, but if there is need to change that law - of those who would have been convicted so that work is done properly - it is done in this august House. When someone has not been tried in courts of justice, he enjoys his rights as an individual. Rules and regulations concerning the arrests of individuals are followed up until when someone is not found guilty and he is let go."