Wednesday, 23 December 2015

20 most topical Gweru stories in 2015

Coming up with this list of topical Gweru news items was not easy. Let us know if we omitted some 2015 stories that aroused great interest.

1. Vampire killer Tapiwa Nduna

The story of Alois Tapiwa Nduna, 26, alias Jackson Moyo, who is believed to be the country's worst serial killer and blood-sucking rapist, was the most topical. The self-confessed murderer and satanist was arraigned before a Gweru magistrate's court facing five counts of murder and two of attempted murder. Nduna aka Moyo, of Matanga village under Chief Jiri in Gokwe South, also confessed to raping and murdering 13 women in different parts of the country.

After being examined by two doctors, Nduna was said to be mentally ill, and thus not fit for trial. He is currently at Mlondolozi Prison in Bulawayo, where he is receiving treatment

2. Teenager stabbed mum seven times over car, money

Although close relatives and neighbours were well aware that Kudakwashe Ashley Sibanda (19) always gave her mother trouble, they never thought he could be so heartless. Kudakwashe allegedly stabbed his mother Babra Sibanda seven times on the left side of the chest, killing her on the spot. Kuda told detectives he killed her because she refused to give him money, as well as lend him her car.

 3. Businessman Madhaka arrested for kidnapping, drugging and sodomizing small boys

The High Court granted bail to a Gweru businessman who allegedly kidnapped, drugged and sodomized two primary school boys aged 11 and 12 years. Smile Madhaka, 34, of Mkoba 19 suburb, a cattle buyer who owns two bars in Mkoba, as well as a butchery, allegedly picked the boys from school and abused them for a period of three months. Madhaka, through his lawyer Tatenda Zishiri of Garikai and Partners Legal Practitioners denied the charges.

4. Christ Love founder Masunda caught with ivory, crocodile skin

After allegedly being found in possession of ivory, crocodile skin and 30 live rounds of ammunition, Pastor Garikai Masunda of 72 Brunkanhurt plots was arrested together with Chipo Bridget Tinago (29) of 92 Mutondo Street, Mufakose, Harare as well as Gerald Sinyoro and Tamuka Madavanhu of Gokwe. Masunda is the leader of Christ Love Church, at one time Gweru's fastest growing church, thanks to miracles and wonders he performed.

Prosecutor Tineyi Tirigo told the court that on 12 February at around 3pm, a patrol team comprising Zimbabwe Republic Police and members of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority were on joint operation in Chilimba area, Gokwe, where they received information that the four accused were allegedly involved in illegal dealings in ivory. The team then carried out a stop and search operation where they found the four accused persons parked at a lay-by. Tinago was seated in the car while the three men were standing outside. The team introduced themselves and requested to search the vehicle. They found an elephant task wrapped with a cloth. It weighed 1,3 kilogrammes and was valued at $306,25. During the search a plastic bottle containing 30 live rounds of ammunition of a 302 riffle was recovered underneath a mat which was in front of the passenger seat. The accused persons failed to produce a licence for the ammunition upon being asked to do so. The four were taken to Siakobvu Police Station where a thorough search was conducted leading to the recovery of one crocodile skin valued at $1 500 in the boot of the vehicle. Masunda was acquitted after one of the criminals absolved him and pleaded guilty to the charge.

5.  Bishop Tuturu commits suicide in church

Well-known Harvest House International Church Reverend, Tani Tuturu, was found hanged in his office at the church's rented premises in Gweru allegedly over a $15,000 debt. Rev Tuturu, 44, who had over 42 pastors under his watch in the church which has followers all over the world, was found dead by a church member who had gone for prayers. Still on suicide cases, a teacher at Mambo High School allegedly hanged herself at her house in Mkoba 13 suburb after her husband accused her of infidelity.
Catherine Kandenga allegedly hanged herself from a tree following a heated argument with her Botswana-based husband, named only as Baba Sean. Relatives and neighbours confirmed her death.

“Her husband was accusing Kandenga of sleeping around while he was in Botswana,” said a relative who declined to be named.

6. Regina Mundi headmistress Sister Jangara pictures saga

Regina Mundi High School headmistress, Sister Concilia Jangara's nude pictures saga generated a lot of interest in the city and beyond.

It sucked in a CABS bank teller who stood accused of conniving with three fake B-Metro reporters to extort more than $1,200 from the Roman Catholic nun. Tsitsi Kahari, 41, of Labsur Farm in Marondera, and her accomplices, Mike Chimutanda, 41, of Acacia Grove, also in Marondera, Tenias Mapfune and Showan Ndlovu whose addresses and ages were not given, threatened to publish the nun's nude pictures unless she paid them $1,208. It was said the nun had been in love with one of them.

7. Ailing Dzatu re-arrested, fails to attend High Court

Mtapa businessman, Webster "Dzatu" Chiteta who is facing charges of killing his wife and had been on the run for 11 months, was re- arrested. Chiteta, 36, popularly known as Dzatu in the streets of the Midlands capital, was supposed to appear before the High Court which was in circuit in Gweru in September 2014 facing allegations of killing his wife, Winnie Tracy Phiri but absconded. Dzatu could however not attend the next High Court session as he was said to be seriously ill. Unconfirmed reports suggest he is now once again out of custody.

8. Five Catholic priest caught pants down

Five men of the cloth were caught in the act while indulging in the vices of the flesh.As immorality eats up the Roman Catholic, the five pastors are in trouble after their cases were escalated for disciplinary hearing.The trained preachers are all from the Gweru Diocese.The development is the first of cases after numerous junior male priests complained to the media on being sodomised by senior vicars.

“These things are happening here and have been on for years but because ZANU PF is in control, we are afraid of reporting as trouble will come,” one of the victims revealed. So far five priests have been named as Father Alfred Chamunoda Machingura, Father Chiponde, Father Majoni, Father Cletus Dick and Father Dzikatire.Since September 1, the above can no longer conduct mass as their cases are probed, a source indicated.

9. Townhouse on fire

In August, Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere suspended all the 18 Gweru councillors, including the mayor and his deputy on allegations of gross misconduct and mismanagement of council funds and affairs. Although High Court Judge Nokutula Moyo ordered that they be reinstated, the city fathers are still in the cold.

There was also drama when disgruntled Gweru City Council workers impounded the local authority’s pool cars to stop their bosses going on a jaunt to Bulawayo. The vehicles were parked at Gweru Central Police Station as employees continue their fight with management over unpaid salaries and bonuses.

In another story, town clerk Daniel Matawu's salary was slashed from $8992 to $4422. The caretaker commission recently appointed by government to run Gweru City Council affairs following the suspension of all the councillors, also proposed a 50% salary cut for all employees to reduce the local authority’s wage bill.

The three commissioners appointed by the Ministry of Local Government to administer Gweru City Council affairs themselves were reported to have gobbled $67 071 in allowances. According to a schedule of payments made between August 19 and October 12 this year, commission chairperson Tsunga Mhangami and his colleagues, Mark Choga and Parenyi Chomunorwa, were paid a total of $67 000.

10. Snake charmer Fayaz Motala bitten to death by poisonous snake

Popular Gweru snake charmer Fayaz Motala was in October  fatally struck by a poisonous snake, leading to his death at a private local hospital.

The unfortunate incident occurred a day after his 28th birthday. According to sources Motala had been called in his neighborhood to attend to a scene where an unnamed type of viper had been spotted.

"After successfully pinning the reptile down, somehow the reptile struck him," revealed the source.

 11.  Gunshots at police/mahwindi clash

Anti-riot police in the city fired shots into the air to disperse commuter omnibus operators and their crews who were protesting against police extortion at roadblocks. Scores of protestors were arrested in the usually quiet city. Drivers, touts and some kombi owners blocked a section of Hamutyinei Road which links Mkoba and the city centre near Mambo Township. The operators blocked private vehicle owners who were giving lifts to some commuters.

12. Popular Gweru DJ fined for sex with minor

A popular Gweru disc jockey who had sex with a 14-year-old student was fined $600 after he was convicted of being intimate with a minor. Tawanda 'DJ Mupsy' Mupanemunda (26) lured two Regina Mundi girls to his apartment in the city after performing at their school in April this year. He later went on to have sex with one of the girls.

13. Businessman Mujumi arrested, set free

Gweru magistrate Judith Taruvinga threw away a high-profile fraud case involving businessman Takunda Mujumi who was being accused of defrauding a loan shark, Regis Sitotombe of $16,000 in a botched loan deal in which a BMW X5 was used as collateral. Mujumi approached Sitotombe for a $9,000 loan which was to be paid as $16,000 after interest was factored in.

14.  Fletcher High School in $229 000 bus scam

Fletcher High School headmaster Stephen Njini was under fire from parents who accused him of fraudulently procuring a second hand bus claiming it to be
brand new. The bus was bought in 2012 at a cost of $208 000. Parents claim that the headmaster, misrepresented facts, claiming the Scania bus that was bought at a cost of $208 000 was brand new when in actual fact it was second hand. The parents had documents from Scanlink to prove their allegations.
$208 000 was enough to buy a top of the range bus, the parents argued.

15. 12 die in Maboleni road accident

Twelve people died while another was seriously injured in an accident after a Toyota Hiace commuter omnibus they were travelling in veered off the road, overturned and rolled several times before landing on its roof along the Gweru-Maboleni. The accident occurred at the 46 km peg when the driver of the commuter omnibus lost control after failing to negotiate a curve.

16. Southdowns maid masterminds R356, 000 theft from employer

A Southdowns cross-border trader, 42, allegedly lost R356,000 to her maid, gardener and general hand who went on to fake a robbery at home in a botched attempt to cover up the theft. This was heard when Tatenda Semwayo, 27, and Thomason Muvirimi, 25, appeared before Gweru magistrate Judith Taruvinga facing a theft charge. Their accomplice, Eunah Badza, 30, who was employed as a maid, is still on the run. Semwayo and Muvirimi pleaded not guilty and were remanded out of custody on $100 bail each.

 17. Whawha promoted to PSL, relegated back to D1

Lloyd Mutasa-coached Prisons side Whawha FC had but one stint in the Premier League after it was relegated back to Division One. Chapungu FC spent the greater part of the season domiciled at the middle of the log.

18.  Socialite engineer drowns in river

A popular Gweru socialite drowned in a river near Chachacha Business Centre in Shurugwi at a braai party with friends. Lewis Matizha, who is also an engineering contractor with Sandvik Engineering Company at Unki Mine, drowned on Saturday in Mutevekwana River near Chachacha Business Centre around 2PM. Witnesses said Matizha decided to take a swim after having one too many. The police sub aqua unit later  recovered his body from the river. 

19. Mkoba woman kills own child with bare hands

Gweru woman on Tuesday appeared before the courts facing charges of infanticide after she allegedly strangled her newly born baby with bare hands.
Helen Mugariri allegedly gave birth last month in Mkoba but went on to kill the baby after suffocating the infant using her hands.

20. Thornhill Airbase raider nabbed

A Bulawayo man who walked into two heavily protected military facilities and took pictures of an air force jet and marching soldiers, was sentenced to an effective one year in jail. Freddy Tinotenda Masutu, 22, of Nketa 7 suburb, was convicted on his own plea of guilty to unlawfully wearing a military uniform and unlawful entry after he walked in and out of Thornhill Airbase in Gweru and KG6 military headquarters in Harare.

....And to Progress News

The Merchant Bank of Central Africa (MBCA) Bank, a subsidiary of NedBank of South Africa, opened its doors for trading along Main Street. And so did Choppies Main Street. Choppies also opened at Mkoba 6, at what used to be TM. The supermarket chain, owned by Nanavac Investments, has Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko as one of its local investors.

Pick'n'Pay opened at the intersection of Robert Mugabe and Fifth Street, together with its sister company Meikles. TM reopened, trading as Mega Mart.

Along Lobengula Ave, Innscor opened a new foodcourt. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa officially reopened Anchor Yeast, which this time around had some Italian businessmen as partners. The VP also officiated at the new Sarah Bata Girls High School.

ZESA Pension Fund started construction at their proposed shopping mall along Bulawayo Road, next to Gweru Sports Club.