Marondera serial rapist Bright Zhantali linked to at least 11 murders appears in court


SUSPECTED serial killer and rapist Bright Zhantali, who was arrested in connection with nine murders committed after he allegedly raped his victims in and around Marondera, was remanded in police custody when he appeared at Marondera Magistrates Court yesterday.

Zhantali (30) appeared before Ms Patience Chirimo who remanded him in custody to Thursday for further investigations into other rape and murder cases.

Marondera serial rapist and killer Bright Zhantali in leg irons (Centre)

The court was told he had admitted to police that he raped and murdered other women in Rusape, Mutare and Nyanga and the police needed to take him there for indications.

Five of the women he allegedly murdered were commercial se_x workers, two of whom after a commercial arrangement and the other three were raped and murdered while on the way to where he lied that he lived.

Seven of the women were strangled and the other two were killed with their own axes. If the women had a phone he stole them.

Mr Reward Sitotombe represented the State.

Zhantali was arrested by a CID team.

Allegations are that on January 15 this year Zhantali, on the first counts, met Mercy Simairi (28) at Dejagger bus stop while she was on her way to Roughlands Farm to look for mushrooms and he offered to accompany her.

At the farm, he allegedly tripped Ms Simairi, raped her and smashed her head several times and then buried the body in a shallow pit and covered it with grass and shrubs.

He then allegedly stole her Tecno cellphone with an Econet sim card number 0786042230 and a Samsung handset with NetOne sim card with number 0716978951.

On January 18, he was at Hwedza Growth Point where he engaged commercial se_x worker Chipo Gwese (40) and the two agreed to go to her house at Ndudzo Village under Chief Svosve in Hwedza.

On January 20, 2022 at around 2am, Zhantali allegedly strangled Gwese while she was asleep.

He then tied her hands from behind using shoelaces and covered the body with blankets before he went away with her Itel cellphone with an Econet sim card number 0771432826, a 3kg gas tank and US$111.

On January 22 around 10pm, Zhantali engaged another commercial se_x worker, Betty Mlambo, who was on the road by the gate at 9 Chitumbwana Street, Dombotombo in Marondera, and the two agreed to go together.

The next day, it is alleged that Zhantali strangled Mlambo (43), who was fast asleep, then tied her hands from behind using shoelaces and covered the body with some blankets before setting the body ablaze, burning it beyond recognition.

Zhantali then went away with her Itel cellphone with Econet sim card number 0773857278 and US$120.

On February 7 at around 3pm, Zhantali was at Grasslands Farm a few metres from the Harare-Mutare Highway when he spotted AFM pastor Nelia Maringe (44) reading her bible some 100 metres away on the same farm.

Zhantali allegedly approached Maringe and after she turned down his advances, he allegedly raped her before grabbing the axe she was going to use to cut firewood on the way home and killed her with a blow to her head.

He allegedly left a letter on the deceased’s body before going away with her Huawei cellphone with Econet sim card number 0773003835.

On March 11 around 2pm allegations say Zhantali was at Hunyani Estate near a golf course in Marondera when he saw Ms Meggie Kaomba (61) cutting firewood.

He allegedly approached her, grabbed her from behind, raped her and using her axe, he struck her twice on the head killing her instantly.

He stole the axe.

On March 12, 2022, around 10pm, Zhantali engaged a commercial se_x worker, Patricia Tsoka (49) who was at Dombotombo shops and the two agreed to a commercial session.

But he allegedly lied to Ms Tsoka that he lived in Cherima in Marondera and wanted them to go there. On their way and at a swampy area between Cherima and Yellow City, Zhantali reportedly grabbed Ms Tsoka from behind and raped her once, then strangled her and when she was dead, threw the body into a swamp and went away without taking anything.

On an unknown date in February around 9pm, Zhantali again hooked up with a commercial se_x worker at a bar in Nyameni, Marondera.

This time he lied that he lived in Paradise Park and the two agreed to go there.

But along the way and behind Cherutombo High School, he grabbed her from behind and raped her before strangling her and then throwing the body into a river about 20 metres from the scene, before he went away with her cellphone and a plastic bag with dagga.

Zhantali, on February 23 killed Ms Fadzisai Muchadenyika a commercial se_x worker in Macheke after they struck a deal and he was leading her on a footpath in a maize field.

After walking for about 50 metres into the maize field, Zhantali raped her and strangled her.

He revealed his killing after he was interrogated by the police and upon making indications at the scene, police discovered human remains which comprise of a skull, limbs, ribs and a spinal cord.

They also found women’s clothing.

It is said Zhantali also indicated that he committed murders in Rusape, Mutare and Nyanga.

— Herald

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