Machete gang leader charged over dead body found in Arlington Estate

HARARE – A notorious machete gang leader has been arrested for the murder of a man whose body was found with deep cuts on the head close to Seke Road in Arlington Estate on January 8.

Prosecutors say Phelandaba Tshuma, 36, of Mkoba in Gweru, was arrested in Kadoma on February 4.

He is reported to be the leader of the Maziga gang which has terrorised mining communities in the Midlands province. The gang is linked to former state security minister Owen Ncube.

Tshuma is a suspect in the murder of Constable Wonder Hokoyo, who was hacked to death in Battlefields between Kadoma and Kwekwe in December 2019. He is also linked to several cases of assault and attempted murder.

Tshuma was held without bail and remanded to February 17 after he was charged with the murder of Talent Sandi before Harare magistrate Yeukai Dzudza on February 5.

Prosecuting, Kennedy Madekutsikwa said on January 7 this year, Tshuma teamed up with Givemore Ngomeni, Morris Tshuma, Trust Mupedziswa, one Blackie and others and kidnapped Sandi of Shamva as he walked in Epworth.

“They chopped him several times on the head and body leading to his death,” Madekutsikwa said.

They later dumped his body in Arlington Estate where it was found by a passer-by the next morning.

The prosecution believes Sandi’s murder was a revenge killing by the Maziga gang after two of its members were killed in Bindura on December 6 last year, it is thought by a rival gang operating out of Mashonaland Central called Team Barca.

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