By Stephen Chadenga
Many Gweru residents and women activists have taken to social media
platforms registering their anger over the death of 12 year old
Natasha Manunure particularly at a time commemorations to mark 16 days
of activism against gender based violence were underway.
Natasha Manunure, a Grade 7 pupil at Sandara Primary School in Gweru was last Tuesday fatally stoned by a man suspected to be mentally ill.
The man, who was only identified as Derick in court used to roam the
streets of Gweru assaulting girls and women with stones.
A Gweru magistrate has since ruled that accused should be mentally
examined by two doctors while in custody at Hwahwa Prison before his
re-appearance in court on December 23.
Several women said they had on several occasions reported Derick to
the police over his conduct but were “surprised to continue seeing him
roaming the streets.”
“I think the police let us down on this issue and I am also a victim
after this man assaulted me. When I reported the matter I was simply
told he was mentally challenged,” a journalist, Evidence Chipadza
posted on a media practitioners Whatsapp group.
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe Midlands coordinator, Vimbai
Nhutsve-Musengi posted on the same group saying she once reported the
same man but “no action was taken by the police.”
Many said people like Derick who recklessly end the life of minors and
in particular girls should “be hanged.”
But others however blamed government for failing to rehabilitate
mentally ill people saying they should be confined to institutions to
avoid such tragedies.
Midlands police have since appealed to members of the public with
mentally unstable relatives to ensure they are on medication with
their movements constantly monitored.
Acting provincial spokesperson, Assistant Ethel Mukwende made the plea
following Tuesday’s tragic incident.
“As police we are appealing to members of the public with mentally
challenged relatives to make sure that they are on medical
“They should ensure that (their mentally unstable relatives) are
taking medication as prescribed by doctors as well as monitoring their
In recent years there have been numerous reports of murder committed
by mentally unstable people especially against family members.