Zanu PF killer is found dead

HARARE - The murder-accused in the gruesome axing to death of two post-congress Zanu PF officials in the Harare dormitory town of Chitungwiza last weekend, Proud Mupambwa, was himself found dead at a local police station yesterday where he was being kept pending his appearance in court.

Police yesterday did not specifically say that Mupambwa had committed suicide but hinted that the murder-accused had “suicide tendencies”, a development which sparked debate that his death was not normal. 

What appears to have stoked the speculation is that Mupambwa was reportedly shackled in leg irons during his time in police custody, ostensibly to prevent him from fleeing and committing suicide, leading those with fertile imaginations to surmise that his restricted movement would have made it difficult for him to take his own life.

Police confirmed to the Daily News that Mupambwa had been found dead yesterday morning, a few hours before he was due to face the music in court for killing two of his party comrades — Lloyd Jambawu, (31) and Marko Masenda (37) — after fierce arguments linked to Zanu PF’s deadly factional wars.

“Circumstances are that after being arrested, the accused was put in a cell at St Mary’s Police Station where he violently injured himself and was taken to Chitungwiza General Hospital where he was treated and discharged.

“On being re-detained, Proud Mupambwa revealed that he was thirsty and requested maheu (a fermented traditional beverage which was brought in by his wife).

“He then told the other prisoners that he wanted to eat human intestines. The accused later passed on in the early hours of November 16, 2015.

“Prior to the commission of the murder cases, Proud Mupambwa had bid farewell to his wife and shared their household property to relatives. He told his wife that he was going to die on the day or else he would do so in jail.

“Of late, the accused has been exhibiting suicidal tendencies and was expressing concern with the extent of family problems which he alleged were being caused by some relatives who dabbled in witchcraft activities,” police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said in a later statement that raised as many questions as it answered.

She added that police were in the meantime carrying out comprehensive investigations into all the three deaths.

There were also unconfirmed claims that Mupambwa had tried to commit suicide on Saturday morning by banging his head on the walls of police cells after he was detained.

“Some of the prisoners alerted the police on Saturday that they were hearing a banging in the cell where he was being held and when the police went in to look they found that he was bleeding.

“He was taken to Chitungwiza Central Hospital and after an X-ray he was discharged around 2am, with the doctors reluctant to have him admitted,” a source claimed in an interview with the Daily News.

There were still concerns in Chitungwiza yesterday that the weekend’s cold-blooded murders, as well as Zanu PF’s raging and seemingly-unstoppable factional and succession wars that are devouring President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party could escalate into open warfare and revenge killings.

When a crew from the Daily News’ sister paper the Daily News on Sunday visited the sprawling township on Saturday, the tension among the warring Zanu PF factions was palpable.

The paper was told that the two men who were killed were only recently elected into the post-congress Zanu PF’s district executive and had been part of a group of members who clashed violently the previous night.

It was also claimed that Mupambwa went into a fit of rage after accusing the two of belonging to “the wrong basket” (Zanu PF code for faction) and blocking his ascendancy to the district chairmanship position.

“As Zanu PF, we condemn any form of violence, we are a democratic party. But I’m still to get full details of what transpired as I have not yet been briefed on what exactly transpired leading to people killing each other,” said ruling party national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

“The brief circumstances are that the accused, Proud Mupambwa (30), arrived at House Number 3655 Manyame Park, which is owned by Elphas Chawira intending to collect his friend Abraham Chawira and go with him to a meeting.

“Whilst Chawira was still preparing to join him, the accused asked for an axe to help chop two logs that were in the yard for firewood.

“After a few minutes, the now deceased Lloyd Jambawu (31) and Marko Masenda (37), who were friends to the accused person, arrived intending to join him to go to the meeting.

“Suddenly, and without warning, the accused charged towards Jambawu and struck him once on the head, whilst Masenda took to his heels. The accused pursued Masenda and caught up with him a few metres away and also struck him twice on the head,” police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said in a statement confirming the murders.

Both victims died on the spot and their bodies were taken to Chitungwiza Central Hospital for post-mortems.

With Mugabe looking increasingly frail and unable to stop the factional and succession wars devouring his party, analysts warned in interviews with the Daily News last week that Zanu PF’s ugly infighting could turn violent before, during and after its annual conference to be held in Victoria Falls next month.

While such gatherings have traditionally been uneventful and boring, this year’s is promising fireworks as bitterly-opposed factions linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and First Lady Grace Mugabe jostle to gain decisive advantage in the brutal succession war.

And with the opposing camps ratcheting up their rhetoric against each other over the past few weeks as tension rises, analysts said the threat of serious intra-party violence was becoming a distinct possibility, particularly given the ruling party’s tendency to default to violence when its hold on power was threatened.

The warnings came amid disconcerting threats within ruling party circles that unaccredited rival youth groups may be bussed to Victoria Falls, which if it happens, would further raise the chances of more violence breaking out at the conference.

The Zimbabwe Youth Action Platform — a youth group that supports Mnangagwa — has already not only savaged the party’s ambitious Young Turks known as the Generation 40, who are opposed to the VP, they have also threatened violence against alleged G40 kingpins that include Kasukuwere and Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao.

Another group calling itself the Children of Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association has also threatened the same party bigwigs.

All this is happening as Grace’s allies are ratcheting up their efforts to “checkmate” Mnangagwa’s presidential aspirations at the ruling party’s annual conference next month.

The VP’s rivals plan to force through constitutional changes that will catapult the first lady to the party’s vice presidency using Zanu PF’s abandoned women’s quota system — which would see Mnangagwa relegated to a lower position, possibly that of party chairperson which was dropped last year.

On its part, the Mnangagwa faction is moving to push Mugabe to announce his retirement and anoint a successor at the conference, with well-placed sources saying the VP’s allies were sensing that they had “weathered the political storm” that had surrounded the camp over the past few months, and that they now needed to move with speed to press home their advantage.

All this comes as the warring ruling party is awash with talk about the possibility of Mugabe relinquishing power before the end of his current term, which ends in 2018 — amid a counter push by Grace’s supporters that the first lady should take over in that unlikely event.

Comments (11)

the end is near

moyoza - 17 November 2015

Very unfortunate that there are still people in their youthful capacity still gather and endorse the very person who is the cause of all these disheartening events because of clinching on to power. Mr President Sir Robert Mugabe this is the time to relinquish power look all these youths who are killing each other it's all because of you having overstayed there. Can't you feel the pain in your heart that civil war is most imminent during and after the conference. How would you declare that no one can stop your wife from contesting any party position as if she has superior status than those who liberated her? I think this system of taking you as the godfather of this land must come to an end now. Look her utterances that participating in the liberation war does not matter, is now causing a lot of instability within the party itself. This is not fair at all no matter what your reaction could be. Let the ballot allow the positioning of candidates at the conferences and congress rather than provinces endorsing you as the presidential candidate also by declaration that there is vacant at state house. Being the top echelon has caused the masses to suffer. Now the killings that used to be done on the opposition masses is now within your party so it's high time you should take wiser decisions to step down before you are embarrassed worse.

Diramombe Nyamakate - 17 November 2015

There are things worth dying for. there are organisations worth joining and participating in. Not this one. what a wasted life!!!

George C - 17 November 2015

you reap what you sow

Realist - 17 November 2015

Blood in on the floor indeed as Mugove reported a few days ago!

SaManyika Chaiye - 17 November 2015

The only person who could confirm that this was indeed a faction related murder is himself 'found dead' how convenient for ZANU-PF. Remember Nyagumbo? and many more.. We know which playboy they are using. Streets will always talk.

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mama mather - 18 November 2015

Mugabe must be very very proud of his achievements

Bingo wokwaGutu - 18 November 2015

If they knew he was pron to killing himself did they not make sure he never did that blood liars .

Diibulaanyika - 22 November 2015

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