The funeral of suspected Harare robber Boris Mushonga — who died in the horrific Zindoga road accident last week — had all the ingredients of a Hollywood movie script: Police gunshots, three pregnant girlfriends and a falling coffin that resulted in the deceased’s body being dumped onto the street.
MOSES MATENGA/HARDLIFE SAMUWI
The dramatic scenes happened in Mbare, along Barbara Tredgold Circle, where Mushonga — who was famous — or notorious — for speeding in his car in the pothole-infested roads of Harare — had scores of friends who came to pay their last respects.
The friends, some of whom preferred to be called business partners, saluted the fast life he led, but most of all for being the genius architect in many robberies.
“He was a cat with more than nine lives,” said an immaculately dressed man. “He will be remembered for making it happen for most of us.”
Mushonga was one of the five persons who died when a Toyota Raum they were travelling in crashed into an oncoming bus near Zindoga shopping centre in Waterfalls last week.
Yesterday, residents of Mbare stood in awe as the late Mushonga’s associates in a Nissan Elgrand snatched the white casket from the hearse, placed it on top of the van and sped off with other cars in tow as they zigzagged past potholes in a frenzy.
The cavalcade stormed through the highly-populated suburb as the drivers called out obscenities, while the smell of burning rubber from spinning wheels filled the air.
Mushonga would have loved this had he been alive, so they said.
“Boris was an armed robber and spent part of his life in suicidal cat-and-mouse chases with the police. Even in death, that is how he would have wanted it,” a friend said.
A Toyota twin-cab truck with detectives from the Zimbabwe Republic Police was to arrive onto the scene in a bid to restore order.
Warning shots echoed in the neighbourhood as the detectives chased the Nissan Elgrand which bore the casket.
Something was to give; then the moment of horror. The casket fell off the roof of the van, tossing the late Mushonga’s body onto the tarmac.
“It is traumatic for children to have to see this. It is like his after-life is still as dramatic as his real life. When will he ever rest?” an onlooker bantered.
Mushonga’s mother and other relatives had the agony of carrying the body back into the coffin then into the hearse to Granville Cemetery, popularly known as Mbudzi, past the scene of the accident along Simon Mazorodze Road.
A NewsDay photojournalist was assaulted for taking pictures before the news crew was ejected from the cemetery after being accused of trying to make money out of Mushonga’s funeral.
“This is their lifestyle and that’s what they do when one of them dies. They had planned this to bid farewell to Boris,” said one of the neighbours and friends of Mushonga.
Amid all the drama, a sister of the deceased revealed: “Five women claiming to be Boris’ wives have attended the funeral with three of them saying they are pregnant.
“My brother was a character difficult to understand, brave and sometimes dangerous. He lived on the edge and was always running. He has rested.”