Mboneni Ncube’s killers walking freely
ON 27 February last year, Citizens’ Coalition for Change supporter Mboneni Ncube was speared to death by suspected Zanu PF youths at a rally in Mbizo, Kwekwe, ahead of by-elections, but a year after the gruesome murder, his killers are still freely roaming the streets, The NewsHawks has learnt.
Ncube was killed after suspected Zanu PF youths armed with machetes, stones and iron bars stormed the opposition party’s rally and violently disrupted it, while CCC president Nelson Chamisa was addressing the crowd.
Several CCC supporters were injured in the skirmishes. The member of Parliament for Mbizo, Settlement Chikwinya, says the suspects who were arrested after the gruesome murder were released and are continuing to commit offences and getting bail.
They were arrested at Jessie Lodge, owned by former State Security minister Owen “Mudha” Ncube.
“The initial arrest was made to 17 people, 12 of them were released before appearing in court and 5 were zeroed in as the chief suspects. The five suspects who were given bail have gone on to commit not only one but more than two other serious offences whilst on bail and have been granted further bail on top of other bail conditions they were given on the Mboneni murder case, so they are still at large and still comitting more crime,” said Chikwinya.
After the Mboneni’s murder, a leaked police memorandum had penned 17 people as suspects, namely Edmore Shoshera (30) who was identified as a Zanu PF party card holder, Perscy Mukwaturi, Talent Imbayago, Misheck Mutetwa, Takunda Chivenyengwa, Isaac Tapfumaneyi, James Jere, Musa Matingwende, Shepard Mbewu, Progress Munyuki, Amon Kwachata, Edmore Shoshera, Albert Maketo Tembo, Fraud Munyuki, Blessing Tomu, Sydeny Samanyai and Valentine Mandizvidza, but only five made it to court.
The five were accused of public violence and murder of Ncube, but the slow progress in the cases has made the community lose trust in the justice system, said Chikwinya.
“There are two counts, there is public violence and murder. On the case of murder, the suspects have not yet been indicted for trial. On the count of public violence, the matter is now on trial but for the past seven months — in fact now nine months, since mid-2022 — the trial has been postponed every month and our witnesses are now suffering from fatigue of attending court processes and not getting any justice,” said Chikwinya.
One condition for bail is that the suspects must not interfere with witnesses, but some of the witnesses have been intimidated by the suspects and have made police reports, but no action has been taken.
“Two of our witnesses have been intimidated and harassed by some of the suspects, police reports have been made but the suspects have not been arrested despite being positively identified,” added Chikwinya.
In August 2022, The NewsHawks, reported that one of the key witnesses, Brighton Nyirenda, was physically attacked with logs by the suspects for showing up in court for their routine remand.
The slow pace at which the cases are moving have not inspired confidence of the people of Kwekwe in the nation’s justice delivery system as they expected that a year later, the suspects would have been convicted.
“A year after the death of Mboneni, we would have expected now that the case of public violence which has got witnesses which has got overwhelming evidence some gathered by even members of the police force who were at the rally, the trial could have been done with and people would have been convicted. The continuous granting of bail to the Mboneni murder suspects who are continuously committing other crimes, we certainly think that the justice system must deny such habitual offenders any further bail. We also expect that the murder trial of these other suspects could have been kicking off now because all the documentation has been recorded and witnesses are there,” said Chikwinya.
Ncube’s family refused to speak, saying they were now tired of talking.
“I have spoken to the other journalists about the same issue, but it has not helped,” said Judith Ncube, sister to the deceased Mboneni.
Chikwinya says he and his party have been assisting the daughter of the deceased with schooling.
“The family is currently safe. Yes, intimidation was there and harassment was there during the mourning and burial of Mboneni Ncube, but as of now we are constantly in touch with the family, including taking care of Mboneni’s child. We have set up a fund to take care of her schooling and schooling material needs including basic feeding, so as of now our last message before the commemoration of the first anniversary the father to Mboneni Ncube was very thankful for the efforts currently being made by the Citizens’ Coalition for Change,” he said.