POLICE have arrested the driver of a fleeing unregistered kombi and two cops following the fatal shooting of a 37-year-old woman which occurred in Gletwyn, Harare, on Wednesday.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said police fired warning shots after the driver refused to stop at a vehicle checkpoint, resulting in the fatal shooting of a female passenger.
He identified the driver as Nyasha Sawada. The two cops were identified as Constable Paradza T (ZRP Support Unit, Headquarters) and Constable Kondo (ZRP Highlands) and are now being charged with murder and attempted murder after they allegedly killed Linda Zimbiti, while Jeremiah Chidzukwa (21) sustained serious gunshot injuries.
According to a leaked police memorandum, Chidzukwa and Zimbiti, all from Murewa, were shot in the shoulder blade and abdomen, respectively, along the Harare-Nyamapanda Highway near Shamva tollgate while in Sawada’s commuter omnibus.
It is reported that at around 9am, a silver Toyota Hiace being driven by Sawada loaded passengers at Cross Musami and headed for Harare.After the Shamva turn-off tollgate, the driver turned left at Chishawasha turn-off to avoid the Highlands security checkpoint.
The kombi got to a boom gate manned by security guards in Gletwyn and was denied entrance. A scuffle ensued and the kombi crew damaged the boom gate and went through.
It is reported that the commuter omnibus was later intercepted by a Toyota Prado which was being driven by an unidentified male adult who was in the company of the two armed police officers picked up at the roadblock.
When the kombi driver realised that there were police details in the car, he made a U-turn and sped towards Murewa with the Toyota Prado in pursuit.
On arrival at the Shamva tollgate, the armed police officers fired two shots at the commuter omnibus and hit Chidzukwa and Zimbiti, but the driver kept on speeding towards Murewa.
Once they got to Juru Growth Point, Sawada turned into a dust road and after driving for about 7km, he dumped all the passengers by the roadside and fled.
A motorist took one of the passengers to Juru Police Station where a report was made.
Police at Juru visited the scene and took the complainants to Musami Hospital, where Zimbiti was pronounced dead on arrival, while Chidzukwa was transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, where he is reportedly in a critical condition.
A murder and attempted murder docket was opened and referred to ZRP Highlands for further investigations under Juru CR65.09.20 and 66.09.20.
In another matter, police have arrested one person in the suspected ritual murder of a seven-year old Murewa boy, Tapiwa Makore, whose decapitated body was recovered last week.
Nyathi said the suspect, Tafadzwa Shamba (40), a herdboy in the same area, was assisting police with investigations. The other suspects are still at large.
Shamba allegedly waylaid Makore and kept him in a mountain the whole day before he and his accomplices killed him at night and dumped his mutilated body in the garden.
“One of the suspects, who is from Juru Growth Point, took away the head, leaving Shamba with the other body parts after promising him US$1 500 on return,” Nyathi said, adding they had recovered Shamba’s blood-stained clothes.