A primary schoolteacher in Msengezi, Chegutu, was brutally murdered by artisanal miners in front of his family and several shoppers at Uhuru-Nakazi Shopping Centre on Christmas Day.
Ward 20 councillor Cde Gibson Mungati said Maxwell Muzhangiri (32), a teacher at Mbasa Primary School, was attacked by the artisanal miners after he warned them against skidding at the shopping centre.
Police provincial spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara said the driver of the vehicle, Chamunorwa Marete, was skidding with an unregistered vehicle when Muzhangiri, who was with his wife, sister and four children, approached him and warned that it was dangerous to skid at a busy shopping centre.
He said Marete poured beer on Muzhangiri before disembarking from his vehicle armed with a knife and chased the latter who fled the scene.
“His colleague, Basis Bvaka, took a machete from the Toyota Avensis . . . ran towards Muzhangiri and struck him once on the left side of the head. He sustained a deep cut resulting in him bleeding profusely.
“Other people who were at the business centre tried to intervene but Marete and his three friends took out their machetes, axes and knives and started chasing after everyone who was at the business centre.”
He said Muzhangiri was taken to Msengezi Clinic where he was treated and referred to Chegutu District Hospital.
Muzhangiri was later referred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospital for further treatment while his wife, Lorraine, reported the case at ZRP Chegutu.
Police arrested one of the suspects while a manhunt has since been launched for three other suspects.
The suspects in the case include Basis Bvaka of Village 11 in Msengezi, Chamunorwa Marete of Village 8, Timothy Shamu (Mutokomba Co-operative) and one Target believed to be from Village 7 or 8.
Police and various authorities have had a torrid time trying to contain the scourge with artisanal miners involved in several murder cases recorded in Mashonaland West. Police in Mashonaland West have expressed concern over the increase in murder cases in the province, with 10 people having been killed in September.
Murder cases in the province, had by November last year increased by 81,9 percent with most of the cases involving artisanal miners.
Meanwhile a Mount Darwin man recently raped and murdered his three-year-old stepdaughter before dumping the body at a clinic.
The man later committed suicide in an abandoned hut on December 28. Mashonaland Central provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Petros Masikati confirmed the incident and said police suspected that the man, Kudzanai Marisa of Makomo Village under Chief Dotito in Mt Darwin, murdered the minor while trying to silence her after the rape.
“I can confirm a murder case that occurred in Mt Darwin on December 28 where a man murdered his stepdaughter after raping her. He later dumped the body at a local clinic and committed suicide,” he said.
Asst Insp Masikati said Ponzi Mavhunga, who is the mother of the late minor, left her in the custody of a neighbour, Neparagi Bopoto, while she attended a funeral at Chahwanda Village. He said Marisa later went and collected his stepdaughter from their neighbour and took her home.
Asst Insp Masikati said he raped the minor and used a sharp object to assault her on the back of her head. He phoned his wife informing her that the minor was not feeling well and he was taking her to Chitsa Clinic.