|The late Cyril Chitumba|
...as man gets murdered at drinking joint
ZAKA – Despite the country being under a level 4 Covid-19 national lockdown which among other things, puts in place a dusk to dawn curfew and prohibits bars from operating, bar owners keep flaunting the regulations with one incident turning tragic when a reveler was gruesomely murdered at Simbamukaka bar in Jerera yesterday.
A 25-year-old Cyril Chitumba was beaten to death at the illegally operating bar in the early morning hours of February 2, 2021 over a missing Samsung Galaxy A30 smartphone.
Chitumba was allegedly assaulted by Gladman Marufu from Chinoda village under chief Nhema and Kudzai Siyawareva who were accusing him of stealing a cellphone belonging to latter.
The deceased is alleged to have been drinking with colleagues at the bottle store where they were being served liquor through the windows and the back doors.
Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dhehwa confirmed the incident saying people should observe curfew regulations and bars should remain closed.
“The police are investigating a murder case which happened at Jerera Growth Point yesterday.
“The murder happened way after curfew hours at a bar which should have never opened under the current lockdown level,” said Dhehwa.
Sources say that Chitumba breathed his last at around 0300 hours and the police, who were not at base when people sought help, came at around 0600 hours and attended the scene.
“They accused him of stealing a cell phone. They assaulted him using bricks all over his body and later stabbed him with an unidentified sharp object. He sustained bodily injuries and a serious wound near one of his eyes,” said one source.
Onlookers who included sex workers alerted the deceased’s brother and his mother, who is a police constabulary based in Jerera, who rushed to the scene.
“His mother arrived at the scene and tried to intervene but was booted and assaulted before she rushed to the police base housed at Jerera Community Hall but could not find any officer,” said another source.
The deceased’s mother is said to have pleaded with the accused persons to stop but they demanded cash, a cow and later demanded a car which they were offered by the bar owner but they turned down saying they wanted to kill him.
“The deceased’s mother asked them to leave him and offered them money but they refused saying they wanted a cow. She called other relatives whom she wanted to bring the cow but they said they now wanted a car.
“The bar owner Takunda Mupindu offered them his car keys but they turned down the offer saying they wanted him dead,” said the source.
People lamented the limited number of police presence in the growth point and said two officers who are usually posted on night duty at the base barely spend the night there making it hard for locals to report during the night.
The accused persons have since been arrested and await to appear in court tomorrow, February 4.