Mupfumi arrested, police hunt for Mukumba over violent clashes Isau Mupfumi

Harare Bureau

PROMINENT Mutare businessman and politician Isau Mupfumi has been arrested, along with 21 touts, while police are also hunting for one of the country’s biggest public transport operators, Leonard Mukumba, over violent clashes in Mutare between May 23 and 24.

Police yesterday confirmed the arrest of Mupfumi, a former legislator, and his suspected accomplices in the violence, where rival touts allegedly used machetes to attack each other in the eastern border city.

Mukumba, whose buses operate under the trade name Inter-Africa Bus Services, is also being sought by authorities over the orgy of violence, which left residents shell-shocked.

Police investigations indicate that there was a fight over loading bays and ranks at the Harare-Mutare Old Rank in the town’s central business district and Mudzviti Rank, pitting Mupfumi’s rank marshals against Mukumba’s. 

National police spokesperson Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the violence and the arrests.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of bus operators, touts, criminal gangs and rank marshals in connection with public violence scenes, which rocked Mutare on May 23, and May 24, 2024,” he said.

“Mupfumi (62) was arrested together with 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) and Tawanda Matara (42).

“Other suspects are Liberty Simonyi (28), Rodrick Chiutsi (32), James Bhekete (35), Daniel Kaibo (35), Daniel Edmore Shupai (25), Noah Mabota (26), Wayne Mafuta (21), Blessing Chikukwa (30), Donald Matakure (23), Oracio Migayo (18) and Luckmore Shamhu (30).”

Comm Nyathi said some of the suspects were hired and paid to engage in public violence using vehicles while carrying machetes and other weapons.

“In one of the incidents, police had to fire warning gun 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 the crossfire and sustained injuries.

“Police have recovered a white Toyota Hiace vehicle registration number ABF 2518, white Toyota Belta (AFA 6517), white Mazda 323 (ABM 8801), silver Toyota Wish (AEP 6689), white Honda Fit (AFM 1550), white Toyota Aqua (AGG 0083), knives, hoe handles, iron bars, stones, two slashers, a sjambok (whip) and a 1,5-metre long deformed bar,” he said.

He said several complainants had made reports of assault to the police. 

“Initial police investigations indicate that there was 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.

“Police are 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,” Comm Nyathi said.

Meanwhile, police have reiterated that any bus operator and sponsored criminal gangs, who try to cause chaos or violence at commuter ranks or bus termini, will face the full wrath of the law.

Bus operators have been implored to lead by example and contribute towards the maintenance of law and order in the country.

 

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