Pius Mukandi, alias Jamba, killed the Citizens Coalition for Change activist Moreblessing Ali following a row over US$5 that he allegedly lost at a bar, a court heard on Saturday.
It has been established that Mukandi was not Ali’s ex-boyfriend, as previously claimed by police which was trying to refute any political motive to the killing.
Mukandi, 31, appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi charged with Ali’s murder. He was remanded in custody to July 11 and advised to apply to the High Court for bail.
Tapuwanashe Zvidzai, for the National Prosecuting Authority, told the court that events leading to Ali’s abduction outside Chibhanguza bar in Nyatsime on May 24, and her subsequent murder, emanated from Mukandi misplacing US$5 before he accused patrons in the bar of stealing from him.
Ali, the court heard, had gone to the bar with her dog and a friend, Kirina Mariyoni.
The prosecution says while demanding his money back from the patrons, Mukandi became irritated by Ali’s dog and words were exchanged.
Moments later, Mariyoni emerged from the bar to find Ali on the ground with Mukandi standing over her, the court heard.
Mukandi allegedly threw stones at the bar, and hit Mariyoni on the chin with a catapulted stone forcing her to retreat back inside.
“Mukandi took Ali from the vicinity of Chibhanguza night club to a secluded place where he struck her with an unknown instrument with the intention to cause her death,” Zvidzai said.
The alleged killer, who is a brother to the Nyatsime Zanu PF chairman Simba Chisango, finally strangled Ali with her own pair of trousers, the court heard.
Mukandi went away and returned with a knife which he used to cut Ali up into three pieces. He then allegedly took the body parts to Dunnotar Farm in Beatrice where he put them in a sack and threw them into a disused well at the home of his mother, Laina Mukandi.
It was Laina who discovered Ali’s remains on June 11 after her son went on the run.
Mukandi was arrested on June 16 in the Chidamoyo area of Hurungwe in Mashonaland West, his mother’s rural home. He was allegedly trying to sell a grinding mill with a plan to skip the country either to Mozambique or Zambia.
Prosecutor Zvidzai said Mukandi led police to the recovery of the knife he used to dismember Ali’s body and has “admitted to the allegation of murdering Ali.”
Ali’s disappearance caused a national outcry after the Citizens Coalition for Change and her family said she had been abducted for her political activism.
Clashes during a funeral wake on June 14 left a trail of destruction in Nyatsime including destroyed homes, damaged shows and vehicles burnt to shells.
Ali’s family had vowed not to bury her until her killer is arrested.