Murder suspect nabbed after three years on the run

Court Correspondent 

MURDER suspect Elton Pardon, who has been on the run since 2021, finally ran out of luck after he was arrested last week in Chiredzi.

Pardon (27) was allegedly involved in the gruesome murder of Tinotenda Mandiyanike whom he accused of stealing some money and clothes. His co-accused Wallen Mupunga and Masimba Makoto have since been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Pardon yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi charged with murder and was remanded in custody to June 4 pending indictment.

Prosecutor Mr Thomas Chanakira alleged that on May 22, 2021 and at around midnight, Pardon, Mupunga and Makoto assaulted Mandiyanike after accusing him of stealing Makoto’s US$400, seven pairs of jeans and spanners. 

The trio allegedly stuffed some clothes into the deceased’s mouth, preventing him from shouting for help. They then tied his hands and legs using shoelaces. 

The court heard they severely assaulted him using electric cables, car jumpers, a baton, open hands and booted feet until he confessed to stealing Makoto’s property.

At around 8am, the three forced Mandiyanike into Makoto’s blue Mercedes Benz C180 vehicle and went to his residence where they searched for the stolen property in the presence of his sisters Miriam Mangozho and Vivian Mandiyanike, but they found nothing. 

The three took Mandiyanike to Sunway City near Ruwa where they continued assaulting him until he became unconscious. 

They then drove to Windsor 24-hour Medical Clinic where they lied to Dr Blessing Nyamvura that Mandiyanike had been assaulted by a mob after stealing a cellphone. 

The doctor then realised that Mandiyanike was dead and he advised the three to report the case at ZRP Ruwa. 

Pardon and his accomplices drove off and later dumped Mandiyanike’s body at the 62-kilometre peg along the Harare-Bulawayo Road near Norton.

A motorist saw Mandiyanike’s body and made a police report at ZRP Norton. 

Police attended the scene and ferried Mandiyanike’s body to Norton Hospital for post mortem. On August 11, 2021, Makoto was arrested and he implicated Mupunga and Pardon as his accomplices.

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