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Police have arrested a Kwekwe General Hospital nurse and her boyfriend as they widen investigations into a case in which patients were drugged and killed before their identification particulars were used to claim insurance cover from Old Mutual Life Assurance Company.
One of the victims is now having to be exhumed as part of investigations. Apart from the case for which the nurse Renica Chakabvapasi (30) and her boyfriend Godwin Takarwa Mugwangi (48) are assisting police with investigations, there are two similar cases that occurred last year. The lovebirds were arrested while claiming money following the death of Lee Mazarire (26).
The deceased’s relatives, with the assistance of the police, were yesterday in the process of exhuming the body for further investigations. The body is expected to undergo another post-mortem.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said on the two cases that occurred last year, Mugwangi claimed insurance cover for two deceased persons using the same modus operandi.
“The two are still in custody and as police, we are still investigating the case to ascertain whether the deceased (Mazarire) died as a result of the tablets she was given by Chakabvapasi or not. Investigations have also revealed that there are two similar cases, which occurred last year involving the same accused persons.”
In an interview last night, Mazarire’s aunt Mrs Evelyn Simbanegavi said, they were at the cemetery exhuming Mazarire’s body. “We are busy here digging Lee’s grave at Kwekwe section 10 cemetery. The police are exhuming his body for post-mortem to ascertain what exactly caused his death,” she said.
“As family, we are 100 percent sure that Lee was killed by this woman because she went to his house and gave him a certain pill and suddenly his health deteriorated and he died a few hours later at the hospital.”
She added, “Lee was once admitted at Kwekwe General Hospital and Chakabvapasi befriended him such that even after he was discharged from hospital, she would visit him at home with her boyfriend pretending to be good Samaritans. They then stole his identification particulars, which they used to open a cash back funeral plan for him with Old Mutual Life Assurance Company.”
Mrs Simbanegavi said when the policy matured, the pair allegedly gave Mazarire a certain pill which they believe killed him, and proceeded to Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, where they claimed $5 000 on the pretext they were his relatives.
According to the police, the offence was discovered by Old Mutual officials who then made a report after Mazarire’s relatives distanced themselves from the two accused persons. Mazarire’s aunt claimed that when police raided Chakabvanepasi’s house, they found various types of pills, injections, identification particulars for different people and insurance policy forms.
There are also unconfirmed reports that three more people believed to have been “killed” by the suspects, are going to be exhumed for post-mortem. Chakabvapasi and Mugwangi appeared before a Kwekwe magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna on Monday charged with fraud.
They are likely to face murder charges once investigations are complete. Prosecutor, Mr Simeleni Nkala, alleged that Chakabvapasi in the course of her duty, would identify some terminally ill patients admitted at Kwekwe General Hospital and use them to swindle Old Mutual Life Assurance Company.
It is the State’s case that she would then secretly obtain their particulars, which she would supply to her boyfriend Mugwangi who would use them to open cash back insurance policies without the knowledge of the beneficiaries.
They allegedly stole Mazarire’s particulars and Mugwangi claimed that he was his cousin before opening a cash back funeral plan for him when in fact they were not related.
Mazarire died on September 6, and Chakabvapasi is alleged to have speedily facilitated the acquisition of a burial order, which she in turn handed over to Mugwangi who claimed $5 000 from the insurance company. Tendai Rupapa Source—herald
photo-one of the accused