The mother of a man who was shot dead, allegedly by his friend and buried in Hillside in Bulawayo yesterday expressed shock at the death of her son at the hands, of a person she said was like a family member.
Ms Patricia Danha said she was still trying to come to terms with the loss of her son Cyprian Kudzurunga (28) who was allegedly shot by his friend Rodney Tongai Jindu (25) of Glengarry last week on Sunday.
Jindu is thought to have killed Kudzurunga of Queens Park East before burying the body in a shallow grave at a vacant residential stand in Hillside.
The suspect then allegedly sent a text message to Ms Danha pretending to be her son who was suddenly leaving the country.
Ms Danha described her son, who was the chairperson for the Young Adults Association at the St Andrew’s Parish Roman Catholic Church in Queens Park East, as a man of sober habits.
“Tongai grew up in my hands and I’m sure there’s no corner that he doesn’t know in my house. He played with my son from childhood as we were once neighbours here in Queens Park. With the way they were so close, I cannot believe he then had the guts to kill him in such a gruesome way.
“Even after his family moved to Glengarry, he always came here to see my son and even though he had since stopped coming to church they were still close,” she said.
Ms Danha said she could not tell the motive behind the murder.
Jindu allegedly stole his friend’s laptop and cellphone which he sold in the city centre.
He was arrested last Friday after he gave inconsistent statements to the police.
Jindu allegedly later confessed to killing his friend and led police to the shallow grave and the body was exhumed on Saturday.
A post mortem result seen by The Chronicle says Kudzurunga was fatally hit by two bullets, one in the head and the other one in the chest.
Ms Danha said her son was not a violent person who did not deserve to die in a violent manner.
She said on the fateful day, Jindu picked up her son from home.
“Jindu picked up my son right at this home and even requested that he brings along his laptop as he wanted to work on something. When he didn’t return home until 8 PM I sent him a message on WhatsApp checking on him as that was unlike him.
“He said they were driving around and when I tried his phone again at around 10PM, it was no longer reachable. I decided to phone the friend who said he had last seen him at around 4PM,” she said.
“I made a report with police for a missing person the following morning before I proceeded to search around at other police stations, if he could have been arrested.
“I checked with Hillside Police, Central Police and Nkulumane Police if probably they had any information on Cyprian but there was nothing,” she said.
Ms Danha said she phoned Jindu who shockingly sounded surprised that her son was still not home.
“After phoning him that morning, I received an SMS from Cyprian’s mobile number saying he was leaving the country. The message read “I’m very sorry mama, I committed a crime and CID police is looking for me saka ndatiza (So I have run away). I’m heading towards Beitbridge now, leaving the country.”
It later emerged, she claimed, that Jindu was in fact the one who sent the message to his victim’s mother.
Ms Danha said: “I immediately tried to phone back but the call was cut off. I sent back a message, pleading with him to come back home as running away was not the solution. I didn’t ask what he had done but simply begged him to come back home.
“To my shock, when I called Jindu, he equally sounded sympathetic and worried that Cyprian was not back home”
She said on Tuesday she got a message from one of Kudzurunga’s friends saying her son had sent him an SMS saying he was travelling to Harare.
“Because of confusion and stress, this prompted me to go to look for him although family had confirmed he wasn’t there. I left on Wednesday and on Friday I received word that he had been killed,” said Ms Danha.
Police yesterday said investigations were continuing.
A source close to the investigations claimed that on the day of the murder, the two spent close to seven hours drinking alcohol at Jindu’s house.
On their way to Jindu’s place, the two bought a bottle of brandy which they drank.
After 10 PM Kudzurunga then decided to walk home using a footpath linking Glengarry and Queens Park East.
Jindu offered to escort him and allegedly killed him along the way.The Chronicle
Source : Nehanda