Category Archives: Headlines

Beitbridge-Chirundu highway dualisation set to start

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter

President Mugabe is expected to officially launch the dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways by mid-next month, while actual construction of the road must start before Independence Day celebrations, parliamentarians have heard.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo told a parliamentary portfolio committee that an independent contractor would supervise the project to avoid the country being short-changed by poor workmanship, like what happened on the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare Road rehabilitation project.

The committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development chaired by Zanu-PF MP for Chegutu West, Cde Dexter Nduna, sought to know the criteria to be used in selecting sub-contractors for the Beitbridge-Harare-Mutare dualisation project.

But Dr Gumbo said the company that won the tender, Geiger International of Austria, would be responsible for sub-contracting local companies.

He said the company would advertise through the press calling for applications.

Cde Nduna asked if there were any time-frames that would guide Geiger International in advertising for applications.

“We are hoping that His Excellency is going to do the ground-breaking ceremony, which will trigger commencement of construction of this road during the end of this month, or during the first two weeks of March,” said Dr Gumbo.

“The spot where the ground-breaking ceremony is going to take place has already been identified. The engineers from Geiger International and their contracted company, some of them are already in the country. Things are moving. Before you go for Independence, work will have started. That is the timeline that I can give you.”

Dr Gumbo said he could not go into the nitty-gritties of the project without clearance from the President.

Details to follow….

School is out tomorrow and Friday as Matabeleland prepares for 21st February Movement celebrations

Zimbabwean President Rorbet Mugabe (L) h

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent

THE Government has directed pupils from Matabeleland region not to attend school tomorrow and Friday to pave way for the 21st February Movement preparations.

The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora issued the directive today.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete- Masango has confirmed.

More details to follow

I don’t want party with thieves, says President

President Mugabe cuts his birthday cake modelled in the shape of the Matopos Hills venue of his 93 birthday celebrations scheduled for Saturday. The cake was provided by the Office of the President and Cabinet. Partly obscured is his son-in-law Mr Simba Chikore

President Mugabe cuts his birthday cake modelled in the shape of the Matopos Hills venue of his 93 birthday celebrations scheduled for Saturday. The cake was provided by the Office of the President and Cabinet. Partly obscured is his son-in-law Mr Simba Chikore

Felex Share: Senior Reporter

President Mugabe says he has the will to tackle corruption by bigwigs, but punishment will only be meted on those found guilty after thorough investigations.  He said the relevant Government arms were ready to investigate the so-called “big-fish” if adequate evidence was presented to them.The Head of State and Government said apart from Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo’s Zimdef saga, there were no other alleged high-profile corruption cases to point to at the moment.

See interview on Page 6 and video clip on

President Mugabe was speaking during his traditional birthday interview with ZBCTV aired on Monday and last night.

The President turned 93 yesterday.

“We must be a clean party,” he said. “It’s very important. I don’t want to run a party ine mathieves and corrupt persons. If there is evidence, we will pursue that evidence and certainly we will deal with the persons.”

President Mugabe said while he was ready to tackle graft by Zanu-PF and Government bigwigs, personal and political vendettas would not be tolerated.

He said many people were good at labelling others as corrupt without proffering any evidence.

“We have a case now, we have the anti-corruption, they are at cross purposes with Professor Jonathan Moyo,” President Mugabe said.

Watch video

“He thinks they are being political and that the funds they say he has used in a corrupt way, were funds that were requested, some by the youths, others by women, by the party in general. Well, the case is going on but there are no cases you can point to of big fish having done this.”

“Tongonzwa kuti nhingi ari corrupt, nhingi ari corrupt. Zvingadai zviri izvo (and) the big fish might also be capable of hiding their corruption. I don’t know, but zvinongotaurwa or people are afraid to come out or even come to us and say, aah, uyu kana kuri kuba, arikuba mari dzakati.

“We investigate that. Zvinongonzi big fish, big fish, big fish and you are saying big fish too. Who are the big fish you have in mind? Have you ever asked them (critics) who the big fish are and what the corruption they are accused of is about? Vamwe vanongonenera vanhu kuti vari corrupt. Kana ini ndinongonzwa rumour iyoyo. I can say I haven’t heard it kuti aah vari corrupt, vari corrupt. Kana vanhu vasingabude pachena kutiudza kuti aah this is what the big fish is doing, investigate him and you will get to the truth.”

He said even “small fish” had no place in society as they “have a tendency of growing big.”

“So you catch them before they grow big,” President Mugabe said. “I think the big fish, more of it has been talk, talk, talk and talk. People have not come out and actually said here is a case against the big fish, here are cases against the big fish.”

Turning to infrastructure development in line with the Government’s economic blueprint, ZimAsset, President Mugabe said he had “my eyes on that daily.”

He expressed optimism that the programmes being worked on the various roads, railway networks and airway would change the face of the country within the next three years.

“I have my eyes on infrastructure daily really,” he said.

“It’s not just roads, its railways but railways, I think they are doing something with China. Then airways, they are quite advanced in trying to get fresh aircraft. I am of the view that over the next two three years the face of Zimbabwean infrastructure will really change.”

President Mugabe said the dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway by Austrian firm Geiger International would begin soon.

He added that the country’s major roads had been worsened by the movement of haulage trucks.

“Maintenance, they have tried to do as much as they could, to keep the main roads usable, but of course, they couldn’t keep pace with the damage that was being done by these haulage trucks,” he said.

He described the destruction done by the rains on the country’s roads as “sweet damage”.

“The volume of rain which has pounded on and over our roads and caused quite a lot of damage in some cases have made our situation much more expensive than it would have been if we hadn’t had that damage,”

“But one would want to say its sweet damage because we need the rains anyway, so we can’t complain too much. And Almighty will say if you were crying for rain and I have given you rain and why cry now that your roads are damaged? Do you need to cry about that at all? You can take care of the roads. Certainly, the Almighty has played his part and we said thank God, bless the Lord for he is good.”

Policeman a suspect in garage heist & shootout: cop or robber?

Alfred Zvapera

Alfred Zvapera

Leonard Ncube/ Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporters
A TRAFFIC cop is suspected to be part of a gang of three armed robbers that raided West Service Station in Lupane on Monday night and was involved in a shootout with detectives in Bulawayo hours later.

Two of the robbers allegedly fired four shots at the service station before speeding off with $161 and fuel worth $54 at around 8PM.  The gang is still at large.

Driving a black Toyota Noah, registration number AED 5411, they allegedly sent police officers scurrying for cover as they hit drums and sped through a roadblock about 150km from Bulawayo.

Sources close to investigations claimed that the police officer, Alfred Zvapera (31) of Senga 2 suburb in Gweru owns the getaway vehicle.

They alleged that he is also wanted for robbery cases which occurred in Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces.  He has allegedly not been reporting for duty since last week.

Mr Obert Murwira of West Service Station said the gang pretended they wanted to buy fuel.

“The fuel attendant Mr Sebastian Mukute refuelled the vehicle with $54 worth of petrol. They suddenly pointed a gun at him before firing four shots,” said Mr Murirwa.

“They ordered everyone to lie down, including cops who were also queuing for fuel. They got away with $161 from the attendant and didn’t pay for the fuel.”

Mr Mukute was not at work yesterday as he was said to be at home still in shock.

The Chronicle spoke to Mr Busani Sibanda, who narrated how he cheated death when the robbers shot at him twice from close range but missed.

“Suddenly one guy from the black car produced a gun and shouted at everyone to lie down. Initially I refused to obey because I thought he had a toy gun,” said Mr Sibanda.

He said he jumped in terror as the man shot targeting his leg but narrowly missed him.

Mr Sibanda said the gunman turned towards the fuel attendant and fired another shot in the air.

“I panicked and tried to run away and the man shot at me again. The bullet whistled past my hip and                                 I hid behind a police van which was also in the                                                                                                   queue. The bullet hit the bonnet of the car,” said Mr Sibanda.

He said he was still in shock and couldn’t believe two bullets missed him.

The three robbers quickly jumped into their car and fled, said witnesses.

“When the police officer who was in the queue tried to block their vehicle, they shot at his vehicle and sped off towards Bulawayo,” said an onlooker.

The trio allegedly sped through police roadblocks that were mounted along Victoria Falls–Bulawayo Road.

A source close to investigations said Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Homicide Bulawayo ambushed the robbers at Falls Garage, about 10 km from the city centre but failed to catch them.

“There was exchange of gun shots and the robbers sped into the city centre. A high speed chase ensued and the trio managed to lose the detectives in Burnside suburb,” said the source.

A comment could not be obtained from national police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi as he was not answering his phone.

Last week, national chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the cases of armed robbery involving guns, which of late have been occurring mainly at service stations, homes, business premises and along highways, are worrying.

— @winnie_masara


Valentine’s Day attacks leave three gold panners battling for life

Shephered Zondwayo miners attacks (2)

Whinsley Masara/Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporters
THREE illegal gold panners are battling for life after two brothers allegedly attacked them with an axe, machete and knife in Fort Rixon.

Casimiya Ngwenya and his sibling who is yet to be identified were accusing the panners of assaulting one of the brothers’ wives.

The duo from Bhibhi area are on the run for the suspected attempted murder cases committed at Pioneer Business Centre on February 13 and 14.

Mr Maxwell Moyo, one of the injured men who was axed, is reportedly in a coma at Gweru General Hospital.  Mr Shepherd Zondwayo (24) and another only identified as Dala are admitted at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).

Mr Zondwayo, speaking from his hospital bed, said the Ngwenya brothers ripped open his upper back with a knife.  He said he was bleeding internally following the attack.

“They stabbed me from the back and as a result nurses have inserted a tube to drain blood which could clot in my system,” said Mr Zondwayo.

He said he narrowly escaped from his attackers who threatened to chop off his hand.

“They told me that they wanted to chop off my hand and my uncle’s. I don’t know what they wanted to do with our hands,” Mr Zondwayo said.

His uncle who had visited him at the hospital, Mr Wilson Masina, said Fort Rixon has become a war zone where people are randomly assaulted for no reason.

“This has become routine. People are being savaged daily. What is even more worrying is that the people who are involved in these crimes are not originally from Fort Rixon,” said Mr Masina.

Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele said they are looking for the suspects.

“We are appealing to members of the public to assist us with information leading to the arrest of the two dangerous men. One of them was identified and we hope the local community cooperates                                                             and help us in apprehending the dangerous beings in their community before they injure more people,” he said.

Insp Ndebele said illegal gold panners in the area unwind through beer binges, resulting in violence at the end of each day.

“Many of them fight over silly issues. Some of the vicious assaults and attempted murders, among other crimes, are not even reported and this must come to an end,” he said.

“Anyone seen walking around armed with dangerous weapons such as machetes and knives will be dealt with by police”.

A villager who preferred anonymity said: “At least two people are stabbed or assaulted on a daily basis at the mine. Where there is gold, there is always chaos and police need to come closer to the community.”

He said the worst part about the behaviour of the illegal miners is that they injure or kill each other over petty issues.

“These panners have seriously polluted our communities. There is a lot of prostitution; marriages are wrecked, young girls engaging in prostitution resulting in the spread of HIV and Aids. Our children no longer see the need for education as they see the illiterate making fast cash in the shafts. We appeal to the police to establish a base in the area,” the villager said.

He said the two brothers alleged that an unknown gang beat up Casimiya’s wife and so they were out for revenge.



Zinara suffers $50 million prejudice

zinara-motoristsTakunda Maodza: Assistant News Editor

GROUP Five, a South African firm contracted to upgrade the 800km Plumtree-Mutare highway in a $206 million deal, reportedly swindled Government of close to $50 million, it has emerged.The Johannesburg-headquartered construction concern allegedly coerced Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) to pay Value Added Tax amounting to $28 million.

However, Zinara board chairman Mr Albert Mugabe yesterday said there was nothing sinister in the way the deal was hammered.

“It’s not untoward in agreements of this nature for the contracting parties to review and engage on the word and spirit of the agreement. Given the quantum in this set of agreements, it’s prudent to regularly compare processes brought into effect by agreement and ensure that they reflect the intention of the contract. I am aware that such an engagement is underway, but I cannot confirm that it speaks specifically to the issues that you have highlighted.”

However, impeccable sources said the South African firm over stated its bills by over 10 percent, further prejudicing the State.

The Herald is reliably informed that the scandal was picked by an audit ordered by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.

“According to findings of a recent audit ordered by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Group Five applied undue pressure and bullied Zinara into reimbursing it a $28 million Value Added Tax (VAT) fee which it had paid to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority,” a source told The Herald.

Group Five was liable to pay VAT as per contract.

The company reportedly threatened to abandon the contract if Zinara did not reimburse the VAT it had paid Zimra. Zinara has made several efforts to recover the money from Group Five without success.

In a letter to Group Five project director Mr Ham Coetzee dated January 23, 2017, Zinara chief executive officer Engineer Nancy Masiyiwa Chamisa, demanded a refund from the company.

It reads: “Pursuant to numerous meetings between the parties and a comprehensive review by Infralink and Zinara on matters arising from Group Five’s engagement as EPC Contractor to the project, and as a result have identified that Group Five appears to have been imposing additional billings on Infralink (the employer) and by extension also on Zinara, which are clearly irregular and not permissible.”

Infralink is a 70 and 30 percent joint venture between the Zimbabwe National Road Administration and Group Five Limited of South Africa.

“We note as follows – Group Five claimed reimbursements from Zinara in respect of Value Added Tax levied by Zimra on Group Five’s activities as contractor to the project. Under the EPC agreement, Group Five was employed by Infralink on a fixed contract price basis.”

The EPC contract states that the contractor pay all taxes, duties and fees as required by the laws in relation to the design, execution and completion of the works and the remedying of any defects.

It further states that the contract price “shall not be adjusted for any of these costs, except as adjusted for changes in legislation”.

Eng Masiyiwa Chamisa said “the employer was no under obligation to reimburse Group Five for taxes imposed on Group Five under the Laws of Zimbabwe”.

“Zinara has, in the mistaken but bona fide belief that it was obliged as majority shareholder of the employer to refund the VAT to Group Five, reimbursed and or undertaken to reimburse such amounts to Group Five. It is clear from the express terms of the EPC contract that, in the first instance, Zinara is not party to the EPC contract and bears no liability thereafter. Secondly, the EPC contract does not disclose a legal basis on which Group Five may validly claim reimbursement of tax from the employer,” stated Eng Masiyiwa-Chamisa in the letter to Mr Coetzee.

She added: “Accordingly, the payment by Zinara was sine causa, and Group Five has been unjustly enriched in the amount mistakenly paid, if any, by Zinara as reimbursement for VAT, alternatively would be unjustly enriched were Zinara to pay any such claims. We further place it on record that Group Five unlawfully threatened to discontinue work on the project as a result of the outstanding VAT and Zinara was accordingly placed under duress to make, alternatively, guarantee, the above payment ($28 million).

Eng Masiyiwa-Chamisa demanded repayment from Group Five.

“In the circumstances, Zinara hereby demands that Group Five repay all amounts it received, if any, from Zinara in respect of VAT reimbursement within seven days of date hereof, together with mora interest at the rate of 10.25 percent per annum from date of this letter to date of payment in full. Alternatively, any claims raised on Zinara or Infralink for such VAT refund claims are, in the circumstances, null and void, and should in future be directed for resolution to Zimra.”

Documents in The Herald’s possession also show that Group Five raised significant charges on Infralink and by extension Zinara that the road administration deems “irregular”.

“Group Five has charged Infralink an amount of $12 312 577.00 for financing charges allegedly incurred as a result of inter alia, delayed payments under the EPC contract. The EPC contract provides for financing charges to be calculated at the annual rate of three percentage points above the discount rate of the central bank in the country of the currency of payment. The currency of payment in terms of the EPC contract is the United States Dollars. The central bank for purposes of calculating the financing charges is accordingly the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States of America. Group Five has erroneously calculated the financing charges using the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank rates. This means Group Five have calculated the financing charges at 16.3 percent and in instances even higher than that, per annum, whereas the rate of 3.25 percent (being the Federal Reserve Discount rate 0.25 percent plus 3 percent) is the appropriate and correct rate of use,” said Eng Masiyiwa Chamisa in her correspondence with Mr Coetzee.

She added: “It is clear that Group Five have over charged Infralink to an extent of at least $9 857 615 in respect of these financing charges. Furthermore, in terms of the contract entered into, the contractor may only level financing charges on the amount unpaid during the period of delay, which is calculated with reference to the due date being 28 days after receipt of a statement and supporting documents in respect of the amount claimed.”

Eng Masiyiwa Chamisa demanded repayment by Group Five within seven days for any payments already made “with regards this claim and which exceed the permissible amounts in accordance to the interest rates aforementioned”.

‘Don’t lobby for party, Govt posts’

President Mugabe RGTendai Mugabe: Senior Reporter

Zanu-PF leaders must not lobby for positions, but should allow people to elevate them on the basis of their good work at appropriate platforms such as the national congress, President Mugabe has said.The President expressed concern over power hungry tendencies being exhibited by the so-called Lacoste and G40 factions in Zanu-PF. Lacoste and G40 are factions believed to be angling to succeed President Mugabe in the Zanu-PF succession race.

Although harmonised elections are around the corner, the two factions are busy scheming and counter-scheming at the expense of service delivery and mass mobilisation.

Addressing members of staff in his office who threw him a 93rd birthday party at his Munhumutapa Offices yesterday, President Mugabe said leadership was about serving the people.

He said this after giving a detailed account of how people were elected into leadership positions during the liberation struggle.

President Mugabe said at the first congress of the National Democratic Party, he was appointed as publicity secretary, but doubled also as the secretary-general where he stood in for Cde Morton Malianga, who was posted to represent the party in Egypt.

He said no one at that time lobbied for positions, but that the congress, in its wisdom, just looked at those in the front role and gave them various positions judging by their performances.

“Leadership did not come out of persons who addressed their hands and say we are candidates for this post or that post,” he said.

“No! The people, congress in its own wisdom, just looked at those who are in the front line and say, we want so and so and those who were in the interim body and that was it. They gave you that post and you could not say no. That was the style, that you do not canvas for a post.

“Let the people just judge you from how you work. They have seen your work. That is the correct attitude. We did not have the nonsense that we talk about. G40s and Lacoste. So, you can see the background. (Dr Joshua) Nkomo was in London, came back later, much, much later. You are a leader of the people, be a true leader of the people.”

The President continued: “So, as I respond to you and you all and say thank you for the day and thank you for the birthday gifts. I want to say to you, I did not make myself what I am in the same way that I did not give myself the 93 years. The good Lord did. But I did not make myself the leader I am. It’s you the people. The people of Zimbabwe and when we talk of the people, then we must be aware and aware at every moment, that these people have needs.

“I have often said, it’s the demands, the needs of the people that pull us and it is on the basis of these needs that we establish our policies in the party, our policies in Government, and our programmes finally and fulfilment in Cabinet.”

Turning to investment, President Mugabe said Zimbabweans should have control of their natural resources and foreigners should only come as partners on terms and conditions determined by the locals.

He said political independence was meaningless if people did not have control over their resources.

The President thanked the staff in his office for supporting him and proffering instructive advice from time to time.

Said the President: “I could never have done what you have described here as achievements without the people. You are working with others and (it) is that togetherness, a togetherness that is undoubted, that is not affected by pretence, honest, commitment because of humanity, because of our people.

“I want to thank you all for this day where we are celebrating. We have walked the upward steps together.

“We have treaded these steps together. You, most of you, perhaps, behind me, sustain me and giving me greater courage, the inspiration and I derive that support and encouragement so, we create the fortitude. You know that character, which says that, which is mine is mine.

“Let no one interfere with it. Choose to die to rescue it, retrieve it because it’s mine. What is ours in Zimbabwe is ours, our natural resources. It’s nonsensical to try and read theories whether they are Marxist or what and apply them here as foreigners to say well, if foreigners come, they have money, that money they have for investment and they are the funders they have absolute ownership of our resources. No! It is only when we the owners, (say) yes, this portion of our investment we allow you to have so your investment can only go this way, get up to this length. In other words, investment is circumscribed.

“It is not accepted to us that the country, whether you are America, Britain or France that agree. We will give you protection that we all need, resources that lie underground.

“Where is our independence when we cannot own our natural resources? What are we in our country if we cannot say, the forests are ours, the animals are ours, the gold, copper diamonds, iron that are lying underground are ours? If we can’t say that, whose are they? Come you investor sure, that is the claim there, overrate it. Let’s overrate it together.”

President Mugabe left everyone in stitches when he said at the age of 93 he could tell stories that happened 80 years ago and no one could question them whether they were true or false stories.

The birthday party was also attended by the two Vice Presidents Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Cabinet members and staff from the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Uniformed forces roped in as doctors’ strike continues

Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
The six-day strike by doctors has crippled operations in most central hospitals with patients being turned away while hospitals have started merging departments and roping in professionals from the uniformed forces to minimise impact of the strike.

Some referral patients are turning to mission and private institutions after failing to get service at public institutions.

Secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Gerald Gwinji said Government was addressing the immediate needs of the doctors and would continue to encourage them to return to work.

“We will continue engaging with them through various levels so that we get a clear understanding of the impasse,” said Dr Gwinji.

He said to mitigate the effects of the strike, hospital clinical directors were rearranging and merging their departments to maximise coverage by the few doctors at work.

“When some people are not coming to work there is bound to be an impact on service delivery and because these cadres on strike are at the first level of care, the impact is greater.

“Clinical directors are however trying to re-arrange their departments to see how they can continue providing a service although it’s a bit more work on those available,” said Dr Gwinji.

He said in terms of the availed posts, Government had come up with a preliminary list of each hospital’s allocation and that the doctors would soon make their choices for deployment.

Meanwhile, most referral patients are being turned away as the few doctors are struggling to cope with pressure.

Details to follow….

OPC staff throw party for President Mugabe

President Mugabe is shown a picture book carrying artistic images by Zimbabwean artists by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda while Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on at Munhumutapa Building. Picture by John Manzongo

President Mugabe is shown a picture book carrying artistic images by Zimbabwean artists by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda while Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on at Munhumutapa Building. Picture by John Manzongo

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Staff in the Office of the President and Cabinet this morning threw a birthday party for President Mugabe who turned 93 today.

President Mugabe attended the party at his Munuhumutapa Offices before proceeding to Cabinet.

The Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces thanked God for giving him a long life.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda presented three presents to the President.

The party was also attended by the two Vice Presidents, Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko and Cabinet ministers.

‘Killer Jindu used cash to lure victim’

Mboneli Joko Ncube

Mboneli Joko Ncube

Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
THE family of a man who was allegedly killed by Rodney Tongai Jindu in an apparent calculated ritual murder in Bulawayo recently has said their relative was lured by his alleged killer with promises of capital to resuscitate his business.

Mboneli Joko Ncube (30) was last seen on January 12 and his family reported him missing on January 15, only for his remains to be exhumed on February 10 at a vacant residential stand in Burnside suburb.

Ncube’s remains were found six days after the body of Jindu’s friend from Queens Park suburb, Cypran Kudzurunga (28), was exhumed from the same stand.

It has been suggested that Kudzurunga apparently stumbled on evidence incriminating Jindu in Ncube’s murder, prompting him to silence him by fatally shooting him on January 31.

DNA test results are still pending to certify if indeed the remains belong to Ncube.

A spokesperson for the Ncube family, Mr Clifford Mhlophe, yesterday said Jindu and the deceased were not friends, but had somewhat become business acquaintances as the murder suspect had offered to assist his would-be victim financially to resuscitate his travel and tourism company.

Mr Mhlophe — who is Ncube’s maternal uncle — said although Jindu had lived a stone’s throw from Ncube’s house in Glengarry suburb, the two only got to interact through a mutual friend.

“Two days before my nephew went missing, we talked one-on-one as he related how he aspired to resume his tourism business which he had run for a short while last year. He told me he needed capital injection to manage the tour business for schools and through the link of a common friend between them, Jindu had offered to help.

“Last year he attempted to run the business where he would offer transport to schools on tours, whether to resort areas, historical places and others.

However, because of financial constraints, the business was short lived. Two days before he disappeared, he mentioned that Jindu had offered to help him and that’s the only connection we know of between the two,” he said.

Mr Mhlophe said Ncube had his own set of friends while Jindu had his own and the two had become more of business acquaintances.

“Jindu isn’t someone I knew much except that he was a neighbour of many years and my sister lived four houses away from him in Glengarry suburb,” he said.

Mr Mhlophe said they were shocked and confused by the fact that no member of Jindu’s family had approached them in the wake of the alleged murder.

“According to our culture, ubuntu bethu buthi if there’s any rumour or ill word on your child, you talk about it as a parent or as parents. I must say, we expected to see the Jindus because we cannot be found going to them. The least they could do was to pay us a courtesy call, maybe in the escort of a church pastor, police or even a community leader,” he said.

Mr Mhlophe said his family was still trying to come to terms with the horrific murder of Ncube.

“Although the police and the media have fully reported on the confessions by Jindu of murdering my nephew Mboneli for whatever reasons, police advised us to wait for DNA results which will fully certify if indeed those are his remains.

“It’s unbelievable that Mboneli was killed in such a gruesome manner. Unfortunately, the test results are taking quite some time                                        to come out and we cannot wait longer                                                                     as we want to bury the remains of our loved one. We want to put him to rest and we have left everything in the hands of the Lord,” he said.

Jindu told the police that a South African inyanga and unknown Omalayitsha (cross border transporters) allegedly demanded body parts of people with a Ncube surname but were yet to pay him at the time of his arrest.

According to a statement Jindu made to the police, he shot Kudzurunga twice — in the head and chest in a bushy area between Glengarry and Queens Park before carrying the body home in a wheelbarrow.

Police sources say Jindu also allegedly confessed to murdering his neighbour Ncube — a devout Jehovah’s Witness member— on January 12 and selling some of his body parts to the inyanga and omalayitsha after promises of $20 000 in cash and a Toyota Quantum were made.

Jindu allegedly cut the dismembered body of Ncube and set the pieces on fire before burying them in four shallow graves.

The mutilated remains of what Jindu claimed were Ncube’s body were exhumed on February 10 by the police after Jindu made indications.

— @winnie_masara.

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