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Family dismisses police account of armed robbery suspect’s killing

Godknows Machingura suspected to be a victim of police execution after autopsy exposes five bullet wounds on his body

HARARE – Armed robbery suspect Godknows Machingura’s family has demanded an independent inquiry into the music promoter’s killing by detectives arguing the police account of his shooting did not match what has been observed during autopsy and the explanations given by his friends.

Machingura, aged 44 at the time, was shot dead by detectives from the Harare CID homicide in a widely publicised incident December last year.

According to police, he was trailed together with five other friends who include Paul Zhou and Jabulani Ngobeni after detectives were tipped off on their plot to commit several robberies including hits on some prominent individuals for ransom.

Police said the suspect succumbed from a gunshot wound on the groin after a shoot-out in Arcadia suburb, Harare.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a family member disputed the police account of the matter insisting Machingura was a victim of police execution.

She said that five bullet wounds were observed on is body during post-mortem.

“We want a thorough and transparent investigation into the events leading to his death.

“In the news, it is falsely reported that Godknows sustained a gunshot wound yet he has five gunshot wounds; two shots in the head, one gunshot below the ribs, and two gunshots on his legs,” she said.

She shared images from Machingura’s autopsy with graphic images of gunshot wounds and badly beaten body.

The family member said Machingura was being trailed since last April last year with detectives eventually using Zhou to lure him to his death.

“Godknows was lured by the police to go to Zhou’s Waterfalls residence where armed CID officers fired shots three times in the air and commanded him to get out of his car and put his hands in the air before cuffing him.

“He was dragged into Zhou’s house where he was severely beaten.

“We hear that officers who held him captive then discussed among themselves on who among the six was should die on the day and they agreed on Machingura and Jabulani (Ngobeni).

“Godknows and Jabulani were forced into Honda Fit vehicles and driven to an unknown location where they were killed and the remaining four were taken to remand.”

She added, “Godknows back was also torn, and Jabulani also on his armpit has a huge hole, even his hands were torn apart by what appears to be very sharp objects.

“These people are cruel and we want justice.”

The family member said they visited Zhou at remand prison who confided in them their relatives was actually shot in cold blood by detectives.

What has followed are a frustrating effort to know the truth from the police, she added.

Reached for comment, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the family should instead approach the Commissioner of Police if they felt aggrieved by the police conduct.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is conducting investigations and therefore calls upon Godknows Machingura’s family to engage the Commissioner-General of Police’s office with their concerns or questions as part of the inquiries which are currently being conducted by the Police.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police will release more information once all the investigative processes are complete,” he said in a written response to questions sent to him by ZimLive.


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