Human remains believed to belong to missing high school student, Livingstone Sunhwa have failed to match his identity.
Livingstone went missing on 6 December 2021, and his suspected remains were discovered in a shallow grave by a search party which included Madam Boss, real name Tyra Chikocho. Livingstone was a student at the St Mathias Tsonzo High School in Watsomba, Manicaland.
He went missing a day after being arrested and allegedly tortured by the police following a break-in at the school tuckshop.
On Friday, 24 June, Madam Boss reported that a search team had discovered human remains in a shallow grave near the boarding school, but DNA tests have come back inconclusive.
His evidently heartbroken mother Selina Tadya had this to say about the development;
“We are at a dead end, nothing is moving seven weeks since the discovery of the remains. No concrete answer could be reached with the collected samples. They told us that the samples did not yield enough DNA, hence there was no conclusive answer.
“It will drag on because they have collected additional samples, the teeth, which they say can also be a reliable source of DNA in post mortem testing. They explained the challenges they are facing, but due to the gravity of this case, they said they cannot declare inconclusive results, hence the need for another round of trials with additional samples.
“This means waiting for another 21 days. If they fail to come up with conclusive results within 21 days, they will then recommend that the samples be sent for further testing either in South Africa or Botswana where there is more advanced technology,” she said.
“Their main argument is that the remains were exposed to the rain and the sun for a very long time such that DNA was eroded. However, from my side they did not collect additional samples as the ones initially collected are still valid,” she said
It is painful and it’s straining me, my life is on hold. I can’t do anything. I cannot go back to work in South Africa. I am just seated at home with no money, yet everything is demanding money.
“Soon schools will be open, I need to raise school fees for Livingstone’s sister. Where will I get the school fees when I am not working as I wait for the DNA tests results? We desperately need conclusive results to bring closure to this case.
“It hurts us as a family because we are still mourning and we do not know when the mourning will end. We are not at peace. We can only be at peace after ascertaining whether those are his remains or not and according Livingstone a befitting burial. What we are going through is awful and devastating,” she said.
If the DNA test results turn out negative, Ms Tadya said the search party will continue until Livingstone is located