ZANU PF Member Esau Mupfumi Arrested Following Violent Bus Rank Clashes in Mutare

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MUTARE – ZANU PF Central Committee member and businessman Esau Mupfumi has been arrested in connection with violent clashes over bus loading bays in Mutare, which resulted in numerous civilian injuries. The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) intervened, firing warning shots to disperse rival tout gangs associated with two prominent bus operators.

Mupfumi is accused of financing the skirmishes. Meanwhile, police have launched a manhunt for another Zanu PF politician, Leonard Mukumba, owner of Inter-Africa buses, for his alleged involvement in the violent confrontations.

The clashes erupted at the Harare-Mutare Old Rank and Mudzviti Rank, sparking fierce battles between touts representing Mupfumi’s and Mukumba’s bus services. The violence saw participants wielding machetes, stones, iron bars, and other weapons, with some members of the public caught in the crossfire and sustaining injuries.

ZRP national spokesperson, Commissioner Paul Nyathi, confirmed the arrests of several individuals, including bus operators, touts, and gang members, following the disturbances on May 23 and May 24, 2024.

“Some of the suspects were hired and paid to engage in public violence using vehicles while carrying machetes and other weapons,” Nyathi said. He detailed that police had to fire warning shots to effect arrests as the gangs were violently clashing.

The police have recovered various items, including vehicles and weapons, linked to the violence:

  • White Toyota Hiace (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 slushiers, a red and black sjambok, and a 1.5-meter deformed bar.

Several individuals have been arrested in connection with the violence, including:

  • Esau Mupfumi (62)
  • 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)
  • Tawanda Matara (42)
  • 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)
  • Luckmore Shamhu (30)

Commissioner Nyathi urged bus operators to maintain order and warned that those instigating violence at commuter ranks or bus termini would face severe legal consequences.

“The police are appealing for information that may lead to the arrest of Leonard Mukumba, the owner of Mukumba Buses trading as Inter-Africa Bus Services, in connection with the violence,” Nyathi added. He emphasized the importance of bus operators setting a positive example and contributing to law and order maintenance in the country.