HARARE – A man came forward on Wednesday claiming to be the gunman in a shooting incident involving Justice Emilia Muchawa in Harare on Tuesday night, police said.
Nation Musekiwa, 36, told police he shot in the air with a pellet gun after suspecting that Justice Muchawa, who was behind the wheel of her official Range Rover, was attempting to carjack him.
The judge’s family is suspicious of his account.
Musekiwa claimed he had been driving in front of the judge who was returning home to Good Hope, Westgate, at around 8PM.
Justice Muchawa was meters from home when she was forced to speed off and seek refuge at another judge’s home nearby after reporting two men allegedly shooting at her vehicle.
National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement: “The ZRP confirms a shooting incident involving Justice Muchawa and a local resident, Nation Musekiwa, who were following each other while driving home on 31 January Good Hope, Harare.
“Musekiwa fired a shot in the air resulting in Justice Muchawa driving to Justice Chinembiri Bhunu’s residence to seek assistance.
“Musekiwa was interviewed by the police and he claims that he was once attacked by armed robbers. This time he allegedly thought that he was being followed by robbers resulting in him firing once in the air.
“Police have recovered the pellet gun used in the shooting incident. More details will be released in due course.”
Justice Muchawa was reported to be shaken but unhurt after the incident. A relative of the judge who spoke to ZimLive said they were “not persuaded” by Musekiwa’s account.
“A cover-up is well underway. One wonders why,” the relative said, speaking on condition they were not named.
In particular, the family says they believe the gun fired in the incident was “real” – and not a pellet gun.
Justice Muchawa became a High Court judge in July 2021, but sources said she still had no VIP protection until the incident.
Violence against judicial officers is rare in Zimbabwe, and the shooting incident involving a female judge has sent shock-waves in the judiciary.