The life of Boris Mushonga, the robber who died in a horrific car crash at Zindoga Shopping Centre last week, in a way begged for the end he met.
Drama witnessed at his funeral parade in Mbare where police fired gunshots and made several arrests was a fitting end to a life that mirrored the fabled Robin Hood’s.
A heroic outlaw in English folklore, Robin Hood operated with his gang, Merry Men, and became known for “robbing the rich and giving to the poor”.
NewsDay yesterday traced Mushonga’s lifestyle and more revelations were made by a close family member. The insight into his life is a fine blend of shocking and intriguing anecdotes.
NewsDay yesterday heard that despite his well-known felony, in Mbare Mushonga was a generous man who earned the love and respect of women he assisted. He would assist women in financial difficulties in this impoverished neighbourhood. He was also there to help bereaved families. Beneficiaries of his “warm heart” came to mourn their benefactor! “He was
a man of the people. That’s why several women came to mourn because he would assist them if they came to him with problems,” said a man from the neighbourhood.
But this generosity belied his life on the edge. Boss Kedha, Master Boris or Bolaya, as he was known, fled from the police while in handcuffs early this year and was part of a group that had allegedly terrorised Harare commuters, robbing people in kombis and driving around with female “passengers” who were his partners-in-crime.
During his early high school years, after completing his incident-packed primary education at Shingirai Primary School, Mushonga had made his intentions clear regarding how he would live his life.
“He had already started his mischief at Mbare High School while doing Form 2. He started taking drugs and stealing,” said the close relative.
Despite his seemingly treacherous character, Boris was loved by the community, but was rarely home as he was almost always on the run from the wrath of the law.
Within the Mbare community, his fine taste for style was legendary, almost matching his celebrated philanthropist leanings.
“He would make lots of money and buy clothes for himself and girls. He would help people who asked for his assistance. One could not even suspect that he was a thief if one did not know him,” said one neighbour in Mbare.
Mushonga was arrested several times, but he would find ways of coming out of custody.
Besides his taste and weakness for fashion, Boss Kedha had a weakness for women.
During the funeral, five women are said to have claimed to be his wives, three of them were pregnant.
“He once stayed with a woman, but they separated after there were suspicions on whether he was the father of the child. The child was very dark and he suspected he was not the father,” said a neighbour.
Boss Kedha (23) (street lingo for a coloured person) died together with four accomplices Bright Mupamhanga (29) of Highfield, Terrence Tuware (19) of Mbare, Shyleen Mukoma (16) of Mufakose and Alois Kangwara (19) of Mbare.
Police confirmed the five were on the police wanted list for robbing passengers using their getaway vehicle and commuter omnibuses during the night targeting cash, cellphones and laptops among other valuables.
Mourners who attended the funeral said some women confessed to having been working with Mushonga in robbing people in kombis.
“The girls came and said he would come to pick them up with a kombi and steal from unsuspecting people using the ‘close the door’ tactic while others searched the passengers,” he said. “He was not a violent person, but everyone in Mbare know that he was a thief. That’s why they sang saying ‘they want time to mourn their thief’.”