A Nurse at Kwekwe General Hospital, Renica Chakabvapasi, already serving a five-year jail term following her conviction on two counts of defrauding Old Mutual of $10 000, was back in court yesterday facing a count of murder.
Chakabvapasi, who made headlines last year following her arrest together with her lover — Godwin Mugwangi — who skipped bail and is now on the run, is accused of killing a terminally-ill patient under her care in order to cash in on his benefits.
Chakabvapasi appeared before Shurugwi magistrate Mr Tayengwa Sangster for confirmation of her warned and cautioned statement.
She was not asked to plead and was remanded in custody to August 24.Chakabvapasi,who came to court holding a new born baby that she gave birth to while in prison, was given long remand by Mr Sangster to allow the baby to grow before she returns to court.
“I deny the charge,” that’s all she said.
Chakabvapasi was found guilty by Kwekwe magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna of defrauding Old Mutual of $10 000 in a scam in which she fraudulently opened funeral cash benefit policy accounts for two terminally-ill patients, who she allegedly targeted at the hospital.
Mr Nduna found Chakabvapasi guilty on two counts, which have so far been brought before him, and sentenced her to two-and-a-half years in jail on each count.
The court suspended two years of the sentence on condition that she refunds $10 000 to Old Mutual.
Chakabvapasi and Mugwangi face a murder charge and five more counts of fraud involving $5 000 each.
Prosecutor, Ms Bertha Boore, told the court that Chakabvapasi in the course of her duties, would identify terminally ill patients admitted at Kwekwe General Hospital and use them to swindle Old Mutual Life Assurance Company.
She said Chakabvapasi would 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 Lee 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.
Chakabvapasi on September 3 visited Mazarire and gave him some medication which he consumed.
On September 6 the court heard that Mazarire died and Chakabvapasi is alleged to have speedily facilitated the acquisition of a burial order, which she handed over to Mugwangi, who claimed $5 000 from the insurance company.