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Zanu PF bigwig arrested over Mutare bus terminus violence; gunshots fired to quell battle for territory 

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By Staff Reporter 


ZANU PF Central Committee member and businessman, Esau Mupfumi, has been arrested following violent clashes over bus loading bays in Mutare, which left scores of civilians injured.

Members of the Zumbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) had to be called in and fired warning shots to quell the clashes between rival tout gangs of two prominent bus operators.

While Mupfumi has been nabbed for financing the skirmishes, police have launched a manhunt for another Zanu PF politician, Leonard Mukumba the owner of Inter-Africa buses, on conspiracy over the nasty confrontations.

This comes after violence erupted at the Harare-Mutare Old Rank and Mudzviti Rank, leading to a fights between Mupfumi’s and Mukumba’s bus services.

Police had to fire warning shots to effect arrests as the gangs were fighting and striking one another with machetes, stones, iron bars and other weapons. Some members of the public were caught in crossfire and sustained injuries.

ZRP national spokesperson, Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests of several individuals, including bus operators, touts, and gang members, after the disturbances on May 23 and May 24, 2024.

Police appealed for information which may lead to the arrest of Mukumba, the owner of Mukumba Buses trading under the name Inter-Africa Bus Services in connection with the orgy of violence.

The arrested suspects include Mupfumi (62), Jelous Mukorera (36), Michael Chigaro (37), Tatenda Chamusingarevi (22), Cassidy Chabvuta (33), Clayton Muchineripi (24), Kudzanai Neshiri (24), Donemore Dube (44), Taurai Gumende (36), Constantine Makombe (21), Tawanda Matara (42), Liberty Simonyi (28),  Rodrick Chiutsi (32), James Bhekete (35), Daniel Kaibo (35), Daniel Edmore Shupai (25) and Noah Mabota (26).

Others are Wayne Mafuta (21), Blessing Chikukwa (30), Donald Matakure (23), Oracio Migayo (18) and Luckmore Shamhu (30).

“Some of the suspects were hired and paid to engage in public violence using vehicles whilst carrying machetes and other weapons,” Nyathi said.

“In one of the incidents, Police had to fire warning shots to effect arrests as the gangs were fighting and striking one another with machetes, stones, iron bars and other weapons. Some members of the public were caught in crossfire and sustained injuries,” Nyathi continued.

“The Police has recovered a white Toyota Hiace vehicle registration number ABF 2518, a white Toyota Belta vehicle registration number AFA 6517, a White Mazda 323 vehicle registration number ABM 8801, a silver Toyota Wish vehicle registration number AEP 6689, a white Honda Fit vehicle registration number AFM 1550, a white Toyota Aqua vehicle registration number AGG 0083, knives, hoe handles, iron bars, stones, two slushiers, a red and black sjambok and a 1,5 metres deformed bar.”

Nyathi added: “Several complainants have made reports of assault to the Police. Initial Police investigations indicate that there is a fight over loading bays and ranks at Harare-Mutare Old Rank in the Mutare Central Business District and Mudzviti Rank pitting Mupfumi buses and Mukumba buses.

“The Police is appealing for information which may lead to the arrest of Leonard Mukumba, the owner of Mukumba Buses trading under the name Inter-Africa Bus Services in connection with the orgy of violence.”

Police warned that any bus operator and their criminal gangs who try to cause chaos or violence at commuter ranks or bus termini will face the full wrath of the law.

“In this regard, bus operators are implored to lead by example and contribute towards the maintenance of law and order in the country,” Nyathi added.