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Shurugwi man in court for murder, vehicles theft

Local News
Allegations are that he would waylay his victims and kill them before burying them in shallow graves near rivers.

BY GARIKAI TUNHIRA A 37-YEAR-OLD man from Nhema, has appeared before Shurugwi magistrate Sithabile Zungula facing two counts of murder and theft of motor vehicles.

Emmanuel Mahembe was not asked to plead when he appeared in court on Thursday.

Allegations are that he would waylay his victims and kill them before burying them in shallow graves near rivers.

Prosecutor Kwanele Njini told the court that between August and September last year, Mahembe invited his late lover Patricia Mutero for a date at Chachacha Growth Point.

Mutero drove in her Honda Fit vehicle at around 7pm to see Mahembe, and they stayed in her car until around midnight.

The State alleged that Mahembe hoodwinked Mutero into believing that he wanted to have sex with her before driving to a secluded area where he strangled her to death.

He buried the body near Gwamvurachena River and drove off in her vehicle.

Mahembe later sent messages to her relatives purporting that she had gone to South Africa.

In the second count, the prosecution alleged that in May 2022, Mahembe booked an appointment with Idah Chigumbate so they could meet at the same growth point.

Chigumbate drove in her Honda Fit vehicle to see him. She is alleged to have asked Mahembe to accompany her to Shurugwi to see her sister’s husband who was admitted at Shurugwi District Hospital.

Along the way, a misunderstanding arose after the accused asked for the US$500 he had lent to Chigumbate.

The court heard that as they quarrelled, Mahembe stopped the car at Todal turn-off and assaulted Chigumbate until she died.

The accused then drove towards Unki Mine and dumped Chigumbate’s body in a disused mineshaft near Mutevekwi River Bridge.

He then used Chigumbate’s mobile phone to send messages to her son requesting for money. He allegedly conned him of US$750, before Chigumbate’s son became suspicious and made a police report.

A trap was set, leading to Mahembe’s arrest. He was found in possession of Chigumbate’s mobile phone and Mutero’s passport. The matter was remanded to August 4.