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Go Fund Me campaign to bring slain son of Zim national hero home; Kupo Mleya shot dead in the US

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By Agencies and UK Correspondent


UNITED STATES: The Lincoln community in the United States has been coming together to help raise money for the family of a Kupo Mleya.

The 38-year-old was killed last Friday when he was shot several times after an apparent car crash.

Police arrived to find a crashed Jeep Patriot and Mleya with multiple gunshot wounds.

They performed CPR before Lincoln Fire & Rescue arrived but ultimately were unsuccessful.

On Christmas Eve, police arrested 23-year-old suspect Karsen Rezac on suspicion of second-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony.

Rezac was due to attend his first day of court Tuesday.

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Meanwhile, as of this Wednesday morning, a GoFundMe campaign had raised more than US$26,000 against a target of US$20,000 need for Mleya’s funeral.

Stephen Kaludzu, who is the brother-in-law of 38-year-old Kupo Mleya, started the GoFundMe campaign.

Kupo was son to the late Brigadier General Fakazi Mleya who died in 2007 and declared a national hero.

In Harare, acting president Constantino Chiwenga, who worked with the late Brigadier General, visited the family to pass his condolences.

Shelby Fuller-Larsen, Mleya’s former coworker at Cycle Works in Lincoln, remembered him as a “great guy, who would help anybody.”

Fuller-Larsen said she saw him that day, about an hour and a half before the crash that led to the shooting. 

“It was really random running into him, but he had the biggest smile on his face when he saw me, of course, I did too,” she said. “He made sure to tell me he loved me and gave me a big hug before he left.”

Mleya emigrated to the U.S. to attend school. He married in Chadron in 2007 before moving to Lincoln by the 2010s. Mleya and his wife had a daughter in May 2011.

The couple separated in 2014 and later divorced.

Mleya had worked at the Lincoln bike shop Cycle Works and had also spent time as a groundskeeper at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was a student in the late 2010s, according to friends and public records.