HomeNewsShooting victim family to take action against cops

Shooting victim family to take action against cops


The family of slain Fletcher Tavengwa shot and killed by police detectives in the city two weeks ago says police could have mistaken him for an armed robber.
Tavengwa (25) was shot by the police who had been trailing him. The police received a tip-off that Tavengwa was involved in the robbery of Premier Bank in Bulawayo.
They were told Tavengwa and his friends were involved in the bank heist in which they got away with over $250 000 cash last month.
On the fateful day, police said they were informed the “suspects” would pick up a friend in the central business district, information on which police laid the foundation of their raid.
Tavengwa was shot in the back of the neck by a detective while his friend Lewis Sanyanga (19) was wounded. The third suspect Mxolisi Tshuma was arrested at the scene of the shooting. Tshuma was however set free by Bulawayo magistrate Abednico Dube who ruled there was no link between Tshuma and the robbery incident.
Police said they opened fire on Tavengwa and his friends as a way to stop them from fleeing. However, informed sources at Premier Bank reportedly told police the suspects’ identities were different from the ones that had actually conducted the heist. This was after the police took pictures of the late Tavengwa, Sanyanga and Tshuma to the bank for identification and possible link to the armed robbery.
The late Tavengwa is said to have been laid to rest at his rural home in Zvimba. Moreblessing Tavengwa a cousin to the late Fletcher, told NewsDay the incident had left the family shell-shocked.He said Fletcher grew up as a person the family trusted and brought up in a cultured way. “We were shocked about the news that Fletcher had been shot by the police after he was involved in a bank robbery.
“What further surprised us is that Fletcher was known as an honest person that you could trust with anything and he had become so cultured that we are sure he did not take part in the case the police claim he was involved in,” said Moreblessing. He said the police had been misinformed about the whole issue.
“As a family, we believe this is a case of mistaken identity which the police should have treated in a more professional manner. They should not have shot at the first instance since the people in that car were not armed. They were not dangerous at all as they did not have firearms,” Moreblessing said.
He said the family was saddened by the fact that his cousin’s shooting had cut short his studies. “Fletcher had been in South Africa where he was studying. He had come home for his holidays. Now that he is dead we have, as a family, been deprived of a potential breadwinner,” he said.
Asked what the family’s next move was, Moreblessing said the elders would decide. “The family elders will have to decide what has to be done next. At the moment, the family is still mourning. That decision will be arrived at a later stage,” Moreblessing said.

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