Fired Police Boss Shoots and Kills Rival

Fired Police Boss Shoots and Kills Rival
Published: 2016 May 19 04:10:44 (2630 Views)
A former police detective shot and killed a Fort Rixon mine employee during a scuffle over ownership of the mine.

Refias Masuna, 48, of Mahatshula North suburb, yesterday appeared  at the Bulawayo High Court charged with murder.

Masuna, who was an employee of Manifest Security Company allegedly killed Ernest Mudenda, 31, at Zulu 8 Mine Pioneer in Fort Rixon on December 12, 2014.

Masuna was part of a team that investigated the late MDC legislator Fletcher Dulini-Ncube and five other party activists who were accused of kidnapping and brutally killing Bulawayo war veterans’ leader Cain Nkala in 2001.

He is a former officer-in-charge of the Criminal Investigations Department in Beitbridge, who was fired following his conviction on extortion charges in 2007. He was jailed for 30 months for demanding a R10,000 bribe from a Congolese man he had arrested on fraud charges.

Masuna’s security company was hired by Blessing Ndiweni, who had just received an eviction order to vacate the mine. Ndiweni was locked in wrangle with Wilson Nyamiwa over the ownership of the mine.

On December 9, 2014, the High Court granted an order in favour of Nyamhiwa and two days later the Deputy Sheriff moved to the mine to evict Ndiweni’s workers and remove his mining equipment.

The court heard that when Ndiweni heard of the eviction order, he rushed to Manifest Security Company and requested five security guards to be deployed to Zulu Mine

His workers had been evicted from the mine and Nyamiwa’s employees had taken over the premises. However, Ndiweni’s property and equipment was still being guarded by Masuna’s men.

The court heard Masuna took a Norinco pistol from one of his guards and went towards the new occupants with his guards.

The new occupants fled in different directions, but Masuna allegedly fired a shot that hit Mudenda in the upper part of his chest and the bullet exited through the upper left arm. Mudenda’s body was discovered the next morning at around 6AM.

The murder pistol was recovered from a guard as Masuna had returned it after allegedly shooting Mudenda.

Ndiweni yesterday took to the witness stand and accused his rival’s workers of throwing stones at them when they arrived at the mine.

Detective Inspector Admire Mutizwa, a ballistic expert, said the firearm that was used in the alleged crime had a velocity to cover half a kilometre. He said although the weapon could not sufficiently match the spent cartridges due to contamination, there was a possibility that it was the same firearm that shot Mudenda.

In his defence through his lawyers, Thondhlanga and Associates, Masuna said he only fired a warning shot into the air to deter Nyamhiwa’s workers who were causing havoc at the mine. He also accused his subordinate Cleverness Ngwenya of firing at the violent mine workers.

Masuna argued that police investigations were shoddy. Masuna queried the findings of the post mortem, saying it lacked information on the time and proximate cause of death.

The trial continues today.

- Chronicle
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