THREE people were shot and killed while the fourth one cheated death, when a trigger happy retired teacher-cum-hunter allegedly went berserk and pumped seven bullets on his domestic worker’s family after an hour-long standoff over wage arrears, missing grain and ground-nuts.
The tragic events unfolded on Sunday in Marindire Village, under Headman Mombeyarara (Chief Makumbe), Buhera.
The suspect identified as Takadu Oxford Mangwiro (72), allegedly thrice missed his prime target and domestic worker Farai Mandigo (35) before turning the barrel on Farai’s wife Portia Mudhara (33) and daughters Sharon (4) and Lisa Mandigo (12 months).
After the killings, Mangwiro, who was described by villagers as a sharp shooter and a socially awkward personality extremely sensitive to negative criticism, rejection or challenge to his authority, dragged and dumped three bodies in a garbage pit.
Mangwiro, whose obsession with guns dates back to the liberation war when he was trained at the front, had upon being asked four months’ wage arrears, accused Mandigo of stealing a quarter tonne of maize coupled with a few buckets of rapoko and ground-nuts.
Mandingo disputed the allegations and insisted on being paid his $240 in outstanding arrears, as he wanted to settle lobola for his wife.
In a fit of rage, Mangwiro allegedly drew one of his five licenced rifles from the gun cabinet under the guise of wanting to go on a hunting expedition, but surprisingly fired at Mandingo at close range, but missed.
The bullet allegedly flew past Mandigo’s head.
Mandingo evaded two more bullets after taking cover in a nearby thicket after which he rushed to lodge a report at Murambinda Police Station.
After missing Mandigo, Mangwiro allegedly vented his anger on Mandigo’s family.
Mangwiro immediately vanished from the scene, after surrendering his homestead keys to young boy he had recently employed, who witnessed the shooting incident.
He left his homestead with three guns on the pretext that he was going to commit suicide, but was eventually arrested on Tuesday, after being lured back by his children, who were liaising and working hand-in-glove with police.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said they were investigating three murder cases and an attempted murder case.
Mangwiro was taken by homicide detectives for indications at his homestead on Wednesday.
He was expected in court yesterday (Thursday).
The Manica Post caught up with a traumatised Mandigo at Murambinda Police Station where he explained his amazing escape when he was missed thrice at point blank range by his enraged employer.
“He employed me on March 17, 2018 for $60 per month. We had an agreement that I would get a beast after one year. I had worked for four months without being paid, and on Saturday
I asked for my outstanding wages with a view to go and pay lobola for my wife. I also wanted to take my family to my parents in Marange.
“I was shocked when he responded by accusing me of stealing his maize, rapoko and groundnuts. He chased me with a gun; two bullets flew past my head at close range. Had I not squatted, I would be history by now. It was a close shave.
“When the first bullet missed me, he fired the second in succession, and again he missed me. I then jumped the fence and took cover in a nearby thicket. He fired the third shot and I fell down and started rolling on the ground. When he thought he had gunned and killed me, and that is when he went back and wiped my family.
“He first struck my daughter Sharon, who was playing outside, with a log before pumping two bullets on the head and chest. He went on to shoot Lisa twice,” said Mandingo.
He added: “My wife was in the kitchen at that time and shouted and instructed her to come out. He struck her with a log before shooting her on the back, chest and head. He then dragged the three bodies and dumped them into a garbage pit.
“It was a painful experience; the worst day of my life that I will never forget. I have lost a wife and my children. The whole family is gone, and I will never recover or replace them. I will never have a family like that again”.
Villagers described the incident as despicable.