A MAN allegedly beheaded his HIV positive younger brother with a kitchen knife to “save him from the pain of taking medication all his life.”Brighton Gijima, 25, of Village 10 Chizvinzvi Resettlement, in the Ndali area of Chiredzi, woke up in the wee hours of Saturday morning and cut off 13-year-old Tafadzwa’s head.
Sources close to the family said Brighton informed his bedridden mother that he was putting his brother to rest before slitting his throat.
It is suspected Tafadzwa was born with the disease but was yet to fall ill.
Masvingo police spokesperson Charity Mazula yesterday said Brighton, who briefly fled the scene, has since been arrested.
“Brighton was apprehended on Sunday and he led the police to indications, he showed them where he had hid the knife, one kilometre away from the scene,” said Insp Mazula.
She said Tafadzwa’s body was taken to Chiredzi Hospital mortuary for post-mortem.
“I can confirm receiving a report of murder from Chiredzi’s Chief Tshovani. A man killed his 13-year-old brother by slicing his neck leaving the head hanging by a thread, using a kitchen knife,” said Insp Mazula.
“The suspect, who has no history of mental illness, has since been arrested after briefly fleeing the scene and he is assisting the police with investigations.”
Chief Tshovani told The Chronicle Brighton was sleeping in a hut while Tafadzwa, said to be HIV positive and on Antiretroviral Therapy (ARV), slept outside due to hot weather.
“Brighton woke up and armed himself with a kitchen knife before going outside where Tafadzwa was sleeping. Tafadzwa was sleeping with a relative, 12-year-old Oliver Magaisa.
“Without warning, Brighton grabbed and dragged his victim by the right hand to a two-roomed house,” said Chief Tshovani.
He said Brighton had long told his bedridden mother that he wanted to “mercifully” end Tafadzwa’s life due to his HIV status, but she did not take him seriously.
Chief Tshovani said Brighton shoved Tafadzwa into the room and tripped him to the floor.
He said Brighton produced a knife before reaching for his brother’s neck.
Tafadzwa screamed, attracting the attention of his grandmother, Kias Magaisa, 67, who found Brighton killing his brother.
“She screamed for help and Brighton fled,” he said.
Other villagers woke up to investigate but found Tafadzwa already dead with his head hanging by a thread of flesh.
Chief Tshovani said Brighton, Tafadzwa and their ill mother had just returned from their home in Zaka due to her deteriorating condition.
“Brighton doesn’t belong to my area in Chiredzi, his father is in Zaka. They had to come back to live with a maternal grandmother due to the mother’s deteriorating health. Killing someone because they’re ill is unheard of in this community.”
Inspector Mazula said the suspect showed no signs of mental illness during interrogation and indications.
In Zimbabwe, euthanasia, also known as mercy killing of a terminally ill or seriously injured person, is illegal.