Nust Student in gun suicide after accident

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Mar 12, 2017

A 28-year-old National University of Science and Technology (Nust) student allegedly shot himself and died at his Hillside suburb lodgings in Bulawayo after being involved in a road accident in the early hours of Saturday. The student, Tapiwa Zhanje, a relative of Bulawayo businessman and former Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial youth league secretary for finance Cde Davies Muhambi, was reportedly driving Mr Muhambi’s Mercedes Benz S600 to Kumalo where he wanted to drop friends after attending a party.

He is said to have lost control of the car and rammed into a gate and precast wall opposite the Hockey Stadium in Kumalo suburb. Cde Muhambi confirmed the incident. “He is my nephew and I was staying with him in Burnside.

It is unfortunate I was in Harare when it happened. I received a call at around 5AM today (yesterday) and I was told that he had been involved in an accident. I asked if people were injured and they did confirm that there were injured people. I then tried to call Tapiwa but his number was not being answered. I called back home and I was told he came and said he had come to take money from the safe to pay for a cab he had hired at around 6AM,” he said.

Added Cde Muhambi, “I understand Tapiwa said he came home with a cab because he had locked the car keys inside the car and could not open the car. That is when I am sure he took the gun and left my house.” According to Cde Muhambi, he was staying with Tapiwa but learnt that he also had another apartment that he was renting at Hillside suburb. “After he took the money from the safe he went to the apartment along Weir Avenue in Hillside where he took his life with the gun and the firearm belongs to me. The car he was using is also my car. I had asked him to pick it up from Tristar (garage) as I was not around, so he took the car and some friends and I do not know where they were going to when they had the accident.” Cde Muhambi said he had not received full details of what really transpired during the accident. The six other passengers, also Nust students, were immediately taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals where they are  receiving medical attention.

The owner of the house where the car crashed into, Mrs Debra Mweke said she was asleep when the accident occurred. “I was asleep when l was awaken by the impact of the car, l thought thieves were trying to break into the house and when l came out l saw the car burning in our yard, the gate had also fallen,” she said. Mrs Mweke revealed that the car had caught fire after the impact and neighbours had to assist to put it out using water. “There were three women and three men in the car who said their families were in Harare and only one lady who identified herself as Nozie was from Bulawayo.

The driver ran to the gate and stood there in shock while we were trying to help the people who were in the car.” Mrs Mweke said she suspected that the driver thought the passengers had died as he immediately fled from the scene. “From what I heard from the police, the guy went to Hillside and shot himself, we don’t know exactly the place but that’s what we got from the police,” she said. One of the residents who witnessed the accident Mr Anglistone Sibanda said they struggled to remove the trapped students from the car. Contacted for a comment, Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said she had not received details of the accident and shooting.

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