Mutare clashes: Inter Africa boss in court Leonard Mukumba

Herald Correspondent  

One of the country’s biggest public transport operators, Leonard Mukumba, has been granted US$1 000 bail after he turned himself in to the police on Thursday.

Police were keen to interview Mukumba over violent clashes between touts at Mutare’s bus ranks last month.

 His buses operate under Inter-Africa Bus Services.

He had gone out of the country at the time of the violent clashes.

According to the State, on May 23, 2024, Mukumba is alleged to have mobilised rank marshals aligned to him to commit acts of violence. 

Mukumba appeared before Mutare provincial magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe. 

He was remanded to July 22, for routine remand.

As part of his bail conditions, Mukumba was ordered to continue residing at his current address, not to interfere with State witnesses or investigations, and report every last Friday of the month at Borrowdale Police Station.

Ms Sandra Mlambo prosecuted while Mukumba was represented by Mr Ashley Mutungura of Mutungura and Partners. 

Ms Mlambo told the court that a group of accused persons numbering approximately five led by Brighton Ndamuka proceeded to Sakubva Musika and approached a Mupfumi bus loader named Farai Chitsa (39) of Sakubva, Mutare. 

The group is alleged to have attacked Chitsa with machetes, golf sticks and sjamboks. 

A report was made at ZRP Mutare Central under CR 267/05/24. 

On the same date, it is further alleged that Mukumba mobilised rank marshals led by Taurai Gumede who proceeded to Sakubva Musika Swimming Pool area where a Mupfumi bus destined to Chipinge was picking up passengers. 

The rank marshals reportedly told the Mupfumi bus employees not to load passengers into their bus accusing them of causing violence in Mutare. 

They are alleged to have got hold of a Mupfumi buses loader, Vincent Mupindu (33) and slapped him several times on the cheeks. 

A report was made at ZRP Mutare Central, ZRP Mutare Central. 

On May 23, 2024 again, the accused person mobilised rank marshals led by one Prince and proceeded to Mudzviti bus terminus and approached Calvin Munjoma (34) who was loading a Mupfumi bus. 

The mobilised rank marshals got hold of Calvin Munjoma and forced him into their car, a Toyota Wish with an unknown registration number.

They drove him to Golden Hotel area where they assaulted him with golf sticks, hoe handles and machetes. 

On May 24, 2024, another mobilised team of rank marshals went to Greenmarket in Mutare armed with machetes, golf sticks and sjamboks. 

The rank marshals assaulted people and damaged a motor vehicle a Toyota Wish and police attended the scene but the suspects sped off in a car, resulting in a speed chase.

They drove into a garage where they abandoned the cars which were later recovered by the police.

Last month, bus operator, Isau Mupfumi, was arrested over the violent clashes and was granted US$1 000 bail by Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe.

Mupfumi appeared before Mr Mahwe who remanded him out of custody to June 18.

As part of his bail conditions, Mupfumi was ordered to continue residing at his current address, not to interfere with State witnesses or investigations, and report weekly to the ZRP CID Mutare starting on July 1. 

The State led by Mr Tirivanhu Mutyasira did not oppose bail.

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