Harare court remands 115 murder suspects

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

A HARARE court on Thursday last week remanded 115 suspects facing murder allegations around Harare, Chitungwiza and Domboshava with only five being indicted to the High Court for trial.

Some of the murders were committed as far back as 2017 and most of the suspects had not been given their trial dates because investigations are still going on.

The suspects who appeared before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa were further remanded to different dates in August as investigations continue.

Prosecutor Moses Mapanga, referring to several dockets, told Mugwagwa that the dockets were with the Prosecutor-General’s Office for perusal or further management.

One of the murder suspects Chivungo Chatambarara of Epworth was remanded to August 1 for a possible trial date. Chatambarara initially appeared in court in November last year on allegations of fatally assaulting his nephew Tafadzwa Kwangari over a missing $5.

Chatambarara had demanded a trial date when he appeared before Mugwagwa saying the State was taking too long to try him.

Murder cases are mostly tried at the High Court and the suspects have to wait for their matters to be given set down dates at the court.

The court also heard the matter of suspected serial killers who allegedly committed robberies and murder around Harare in 2017. Nelson Nyarambi, Bothwell Zigomo, Raymond Nyajina, Sebastine Madembo, Talent Gwada and Nelta Mushonga are facing seven murder counts.

The suspects were allegedly attacking mostly taxi drivers who they would hire before robbing and killing them. The suspects allegedly killed Ophius Mudadi, Robert Bobo, John Nhira and James Meki, among others. They are also facing 18 counts of attempted murder.

It is alleged the gang attacked Godfrey Matiki with a knife before taking a $1 coin from his pocket. They also attacked Tafireyi Chitsekwe, Cuthbert Zvidzai, Kennedy Rateiwa, Willard Sasimba and Ngonidzashe Darare, among others.

MDC activists Darlington Madzonga and Edmore Musvibi were also further remanded on Thursday. The two are facing a murder charge after they were arrested in connection with the death of a riot police officer, who was killed in the Harare central business district during a demonstration against police brutality in July 2017.

Madzonga, of Glen View, was once a suspect in the murder of another police officer, Petros Mutedza.

According to the State, Madzonga, Musvibi and Mwanjira allegedly teamed up with fellow vendors on June 29, 2017 and attacked Talkmore Phiri, who was among riot police officers deployed to restore order near the MDC headquarters along Nelson Mandela Avenue.

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