March 28, 2021

Murdered 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore finally buried

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Rutendo Rori in Murewa

Many days have passed since Zimbabweans came face-to-face with the grim reality. Yet, what happened under the cover of darkness in September 2020 continues to stalk the memories of citizens of this Southern African nation day and night.

Tapiwa Makore was an unknown during the short run that his little legs could carry him for on Earth. At seven years old, he was expected to be. But it is in death that he has come to be widely known across Zimbabwe as multitudes mourn over his murder.

On Saturday, he was finally buried after investigators spent six months trying to pin down his killer and to recover his skull. His uncle and his help emerged prime suspects in preliminary investigation stages. But it became increasingly difficult to lay charges squarely on them even as the latter reconstructed the ritual murder flawlessly during indications.

Some of the boy’s remains, principally his skull, are still unaccounted for, and the Makores decided to proceed with burial to find closure. Critically, it was for Tapiwa to “finally rest”.

The strong emotion at Nyamutumbu Village was almost palpable. Throngs gathered. The proverbial dark cloud hung over the village. It appeared as though it would rain. Yet the only drops that fell were from the mourners’ cheeks. A little casket draped in white was carried to the grave.

Therein were the remains of Tapiwa, a gift accorded the Makores for only but a little while. Slowly. Pensively. Mourners watched; their minds perhaps wondering to lands yonder to seek out answers on why one so young had to return to whence he was born in such gruesome circumstances as murder. Others cried silently; months of grief having made them numb. Tapiwa’s portrait gazed back at them as it leaned against his casket.

The portrait’s background of the heavens seemed to whisper to them that “mourn no more for I am in a better place”. It was, however, his father, Munyaradzi Makore, who tried the utmost to find solace for everyone.
“Tapiwa’s long-awaited burial will bring relief to the family,” he said. “I encourage all of us to practise love and forgiveness.” Love and forgiveness. And the third word on many minds is justice. Justice for one slain for selfish ends. For one whose dreams never got to fruit. A life cut short by the devil’s archer. Who knows? Perhaps he envisioned becoming great one day, compelling the world with his latent talents and turning famous for it.

Who knows? Perchance he was to be a celebrated musician or poet; one with a knack for artistry, or a great achiever on whatever path he chose. “If only” now remains the shibboleth. And whether his skull will ever be found remains a mystery. This became apparent with the last toss of dust on top of Tapiwa’s grave.

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