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Man faces murder charges


A 31-year-old Shurugwi man is facing murder charges after he allegedly fatally shot a security guard, robbed a businesswoman of $9 000 and fired at police officers in a shoot-out last year.

Forward Chekenyu from Chief Nhema allegedly fatally shot Tichaona Tangira, who tried to apprehend him after he robbed his employer Josephine Chovani in April last year.

Chovani, who owns a supermarket in Chiredzi, told Justice Tedius Karwi that on the day in question, Chekenyu came to her place of residence in the company of his colleagues identified in court papers as Emmanuel and Severino who are still at large.

The three pretended to be money changers. At that particular moment Chovani was in the company of Aaron Masango and Lucky Mpungu.

The two had earlier been contacted by Chekenyu who purpoRtedly wanted to exchange South African rand for United States dollars.

Chovani told the court that Chekenyu, Severino and Emmanuel had R39 000 which they wanted to exchange for $4 000. Upon arrival the three suggested the transaction be conducted in the house for security reasons.

Chovani is said to have given Chekenyu $4 000 and he counted the money and handed it over to Severino for a recount.

However, Chekenyu, Severino and Emmanuel allegedly opened their bags as if to take out cash but produced guns and pointed them at Chovani. Justice Karwi heard that Chovani wrestled the robbers and Severino dropped his gun and in panic they all took to their heels.

Chovani shouted for help and Tangira responded to the call and was shot at the door by Chekenyu who fired two shots killing him on the spot.

The court heard that Chovani pursued the trio but failed to apprehend them and upon her return she realised that they had also stolen $5 000 from her purse.

Chekenyu was arrested the following day after being spotted at Ngundu turn-off but he pulled out his gun and engaged police in a shoot-out before he was arrested.

In his defence outline Chekenyu pleaded not guilty and denied ever committing the crime.

He told the court that he was invited by Severino and Emmanuel to accompany them to Chiredzi, where they wanted to trade in foreign currency.

Chekenyu said as the transaction progressed he was shocked to see his colleagues producing pistols and in the ensuing melee Emmanuel shot Tagarira.

Justice Karwi deferred the matter after Chovani had given evidence.

The state was represented by Lovack Masuku while Chekenyu was represented by lawyers from Mwonzora and Associates.

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