Tafadzwa Macheso’s ex-husband Shepherd Mhizha, a convicted armed robber also known as Major Sanyati Samanenji, was shot dead in Bulawayo on Wednesday, police confirmed.
Tafadzwa is the second wife of sungura maestro Alick Macheso, who has several hits, among them Tafadzwa (Nyarara), a special dedication to his sweetheart whom he married last year.
Mhizha was in 2005 sentenced to 20 years in prison together with two of his accomplices — who died in prison — for a string of armed robberies in Harare.
He served time at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, but got out of jail after a bogus Harare lawyer, George Simbi (29), secured his release together with eight other suspected armed robbers and carjackers from prison in 2009 using fake High Court release orders.
After his release, he allegedly committed several armed robberies in Bulawayo’s affluent suburbs getting away with mostly cash and jewellery.
Criminal Investigations Department spokesman Augustine Zimbili said Mhizha was cornered in Emakhandeni on Sunday after police received information that he was part of a gang responsible for a spate of armed robberies between 2009 and this year.
“He was driving a black VW Polo and he sped off when he saw detectives moving in, resulting in a high-speed chase which ended when he rammed into another vehicle in Luveve. After the accident, he came out of the car wielding a pistol and fired at the detectives,” said Zimbili.
“The detectives returned fire and shot him on the leg before arresting him and recovering a CZ pistol with five rounds of ammunition. The pistol had erased serial numbers.”
Zimbili said Mhizha was questioned and implicated Fanuel Muchineripi alias Tafadzwa Mukuriba and Farai Sabau as his accomplices. They are at large and are considered armed.
On Tuesday, Mhizha is said to have made indications resulting in the recovery of an FN Browning pistol with six rounds and another pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition.
“On 27 July (Wednesday) Mhizha led detectives to a bushy area along Khami Road near Khami Dam to recover another pistol. He was in leg irons and while there he took the pistol but suddenly cocked it and this prompted detectives to fire at him,” said Zimbili.
“He was rushed to United Bulawayo Hospitals where he was pronounced dead on arrival.”
Zimbili said Mhizha had been implicated in 22 armed robberies in Bulawayo and was also wanted in Harare for escaping from custody using forged papers.
Mhizha’s gang was known for breaking into homes before tying up occupants with electrical cables before helping themselves to their property. In some cases they would break into homes while the owners were away and wait for them until they returned before pouncing on them.