By Audience Mutema
A 40-year-old man believed to be a tout who washes cars in Harare’s CBD was Wednesday shot dead by an unnamed assailant wearing a scarf similar to the one often worn by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Police confirmed the deceased was shot dead by a 24-year-old following a misunderstanding over parking space.
Some witnesses said the deceased had provoked his assailant when he refused to wash a car belonging to a “Mnangagwa’s supporter”.
“This man came for a car wash while wearing a Zanu PF scarf, but he (deceased) refused to wash the car insisting he was not prepared to wash cars belonging to ED’s supporters,” said an unidentified witness who is a city vendor.
The altercation was said to have started near NBS, corner Samora Machel and Julius Nyerere, but the shooting incident occurred at corner Angwa and Kwame Nkrumah after the parties had been involved in a street chase.
Other witnesses said the argument was joined by some of the deceased’s friends with the shooter later forced to pull his gun in a bid to defend himself.
“The car wash guys got involved in a chase with the unarmed man who then shot one of the guys trying to defend himself,” he added.
However, others said the chase occurred when the shooting had already taken place.
An incensed crowd that witnessed the skirmishes apprehended and meted out instant justice on the shooter and later burnt down his car.
However, police gave a different version of events in a later statement as they confirmed the death of the 40-year old.
“Circumstances are that a 24-year-old parked his Subaru car at the corner of Angwa Street and Nkwame Nkrumah, Harare and left his two sisters in his car whilst carrying out his business in the Central Business District,” said police spokesperson Paul Nyathi.
“Five men approached the sisters who were seated in the Sabaru car and demanded the car be removed from where it was parked.”
The two sisters, according to police, called the owner of the car and, when he came back, a scuffle ensued resulting in the owner of the Subaru drawing out a pistol and firing a shot that resulted in the death of the 40-year-old man.
The mob then gathered and became violent, setting the Subaru vehicle on fire.
Police managed to arrest the 24-year-old car owner and the four men who had incited the violence.