Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
A MAN from Bulawayo allegedly shot his friend dead, buried him in a shallow grave in Hillside suburb and sent a message to the deceased’s mother pretending to be her son suddenly leaving the country, police confirmed yesterday.
Rodney Tongai Jindu (25) of Glengarry suburb allegedly killed Cyprian Kudzurunga (28) of Queens Park East on January 29 before burying the body in a vacant residential stand in Hillside.
He also allegedly stole his friend’s laptop and cellphone which he sold in the city centre.
Jindu was arrested on Friday after inconsistent statements to the police. He allegedly later confessed to killing his friend and led police to the shallow grave.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.
“Police has arrested a 25-year-old man in connection with the death of Cyprian Kudzurunga aged 28 years who was allegedly shot in circumstances which are under investigations.
“The body was privately and secretly buried at a site where it was later exhumed after police had received information and conducted comprehensive investigations,” he said.
The Chronicle understands that the two were childhood friends and churchmates at the Queens Park Roman Catholic parish.
On the day of the murder, they had spent close to seven hours drinking alcohol at Jindu’s house with the binge stretching from around 3PM to 10PM after which Kadzurunga decided to walk home.
A police source said on the fateful day, Kudzurunga passed by home from church at around 3PM and informed his mother that he was going for drinks with Jindu who was waiting for him outside.
“He took his laptop with him as Jindu said he would want to use it. On their way to Jindu’s place, the two bought a bottle of brandy which they drank,” the source said.
The source said they drank until around 10PM and Kudzurunga then decided to walk home using a footpath linking Glengarry and Queens Park East.
Jindu offered to escort him.
“After walking for a while, Jindu — who was walking behind Kudzurunga — fired one shot from behind and shot him on the head and he fell down. He fired another shot, this time hitting him in the chest resulting in his death.
“After realising that he had killed his friend, he rushed back home and hid the pistol and the now deceased’s laptop in his workshop. He took a plastic bag, cellotape and a wheelbarrow, and returned to the where the body lay. He shoved the body into the plastic bag, loaded it onto the wheelbarrow and pushed it back home,” said the source.
Once at home, Jindu placed the body into the boot of his car and took the deceased’s LG cellphone from his trousers’ pocket.
He allegedly left the body in the car boot overnight.
The following morning, he went to the city centre and met a friend whom he gave Kudzurunga’s cellphone and laptop to sell on his behalf.
“He removed the sim card from the handset before giving it away for sale. The laptop was quickly bought for $140 and the seller was paid off and the two separated. He hired a taxi back home and bought five litres of petrol along the way for his car.
“He also hired two men to dig the grave and paid them $10 each. Later that afternoon, he buried the body and filled the grave halfway with stones and soil,” said the source.
Through investigations, it was discovered that at around 8PM on January 29, Jindu inserted Kudzurunga’s sim card into his cellphone and sent an SMS to the now deceased’s mother pretending to be Kudzurunga.
In the message, he said he was going out of the country.
“The message read that he had fled because he had done something bad and would communicate with her later.
“On January 31 early morning, Jindu hired another friend to finish filling up the grave with soil after lying to him that he had tried to dig a place to mount a water meter but had since decided to change the place. He then later scattered some litter on top for disguise,” said the source.
Kudzurunga’s laptop and cellphone were recovered after Jindu’s arrest.
His body was exhumed on Saturday after Jindu confessed to killing his friend.
The firearm used to commit the crime was recovered and it was allegedly registered in Jindu’s name.
The firearm was allegedly issued for crop and livestock protection.
When The Chronicle visited the deceased’s home in Queens Park East yesterday, Kudzurunga’s mother, Ms Patricia Danha, was said to be on her way from Harare where she had gone to search for her missing son.
A family friend, Mrs Sophia Mafiwa, said Ms Danha phoned her son on January 29 at around 8PM and that was the last time she had spoken to him.
“He said they were driving around with his friend Jindu. When she tried his phone again around 10PM, it was no longer reachable. She decided to phone the friend who said he had last seen him at around 4PM.
“Mrs Danha then made a missing person report with the police,” she said.
Article Source: The Chronicle