Covid-19 defiance at slain Gweru socialite’s funeral

Mourners at the burials of Shelton Chinhango

Popular Gweru socialite, Gamuchirai Mudungwe (30), allegedly shot dead in a frenzied gun attack on four people by a local polygamous businessman, was given an emotional send-off at a local cemetery yesterday.

The assailant accused his second wife of cheating on him. Mudungwe was buried at Senga cemetery in Senga high density suburb .

Scores of mourners defied Covid-19 restrictions which limit funerals to 50 people as they paid their last respects to Mudungwe who was buried around midday.

The mourners also didn’t observe social distancing or wear face masks which are some of the ways to mitigate against the spread of Covid-19.

Mudungwe’s burial was attended by fellow socialites, relatives, and friends who eulogised her as a “philanthropist with a heart of gold.”

The sleepy suburb of Senga came to life as top-of-the-range vehicles lined up in a procession to the cemetery.

Gamuchirai Mudungwe

The road leading to Senga cemetery was totally sealed off as light flashing cars clogged all ends of the road following a Nyaradzo Funeral Service hearse on its way to Mudungwe’s final resting place.

Shops, bars and tuck shops in the area recorded brisk business as mourners sought the wise waters, soft drinks and food from Monday evening when Mudungwe’s body returned from Bulawayo where it had been taken for post-mortem.

It was indeed a befitting send-off as women of different shapes and sizes, from the onion shaped to the pencil slim, all clad in black, thronged the late Gamu- as she was popularly known- parents’ house in Old Senga High Density suburb near Midlands State University (MSU) to celebrate her life.

Mudungwe was shot at close range from the back as she fled through the staircase of a flat at her friend’s residence in Gweru Central Business District (CBD) on Friday after her alleged killer, Peter Dube confronted her together with the other three as he accused Gamu of being involved in his second wife’s acts of infidelity.

Mudungwe was killed together with Dube’s suspected second wife’s lover, Shelton Chinhango while the second wife Ms Nyasha Nharingo (31) and her sister, Nyaradzo (34) sustained serious gunshots wounds.

Nyasha and Nyaradzo are still hospitalised with their condition reportedly now stable after undergoing lifesaving operations.

Residents described it as the most emotionally moving funeral they had ever witnessed.

“This has been the most attended funeral in Senga High Density suburb. From the huge numbers of mourners to the top of the range vehicles, the black suits they were wearing and ladies in their best make up, the tears and the moving speeches, we have never seen anything like this. Shops, bars and tuck shops recorded brisk business,” said Mrs Mitchell Sibanda, a bartender. “We are very saddened by her untimely death because she was a lady of the people. For a very jovial lady like Gamu to die violently like that was the most cruel thing she least deserved,” commented one of her neighbours, Ms Elizabeth Chidoori.

Gamu’s aunt, Mrs Entrance Takaidza said they were still trying to come to terms with her sudden departure.

“She was a hardworking young lady and we are still in shock, we did not even know that she was as popular as this, it’s disheartening that she died a violent death,” she said.

Mr Simbarashe Dzuka, father to the late Gamu said they were not expecting payment from the Dube family but were keen to have the alleged assailant brought to book.

He confirmed the Dube family had reached out to them and expected them to foot burial and other related costs.

“We are still in shock as the family and we are in mourning. The death of my daughter was just cruel by all measures but what can we do?

We can’t bring her back to life. What we wish is to have justice in the end. This Dube guy should face justice. That is all we can say at the moment,” said Mr Dzuka.

Gamu is survived by one child (5).

Meanwhile, a convoy of over 100 cars drove from Kwekwe to Gweru to pick Chinhango’s body. He was also buried yesterday.

The convoy made up of gold dealers and artisanal miners made its way past Bensam Flats where Chinhango was shot while seated on the driver seat of his Toyota Hiace.

From there they proceeded to Mixed Blend Car Sale where they honked and skidded while singing the song, “Ndimi makauraya” (you’re the ones who killed). The car sale is owned by Dube.

Fears were that about three vehicles which had not been removed from the car sale were going to be destroyed- but the mourners drove off to Kwekwe in peace.