The Sunday News
Simba Jemwa, Sunday News Correspondent
A man from Sizinda in Bulawayo who has been on the police wanted list since last year for murder has been arrested.
Rashid Amisi (24) last week appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Shepherd Mjanja to answer to charges of murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
He was granted $20 000 bail and ordered to report twice a week on Mondays and Fridays at Tshabalala Police Station.
In May last year, Amisi then unknown as the alleged murderer, was the subject of manhunt after Vasco Akamukwa’s body was found near Maphisa Primary School in Sizinda with stab wounds. Akamukwa was said to be mentally challenged.
His death led to fears that there were criminals targeting mentally challenged members of the community for ritual purposes, as two more had allegedly died in the area. Presenting the State case, prosecutor Ms Melisa Dube said Amisi allegedly killed Akamukwa on 5 May last year along an unnamed gravel road parallel to London Road and adjacent to Maphisa Primary School.
The court heard that Amisi had a misunderstanding with the now-deceased over an undisclosed issue. He then assaulted Akamukwa with open hands and fists several times.
He also struck the now deceased with a half brick once on the head and also stabbed him with a broken beer bottle once in his abdomen and once on the back leading to Akamukwa’s death. At the time of his death, Akamukwa’s sister, Ms Beauty Akamukwa said she was shocked when she was told that her brother had died after being hit by a car on the morning of 5 May.
“I was surprised just like everybody else when I was told that my brother’s body had been discovered. I was told that he had been hit by a car because he was discovered on the side of the road,” she said.
Ms Akamukwa said on arrival at the scene, they began to suspect that he had not been hit by a car but had been killed.
A trail of blood seemed to suggest that he had been bleeding for a while before he eventually fell at the place where his body was found.
“There was a trail of blood and that indicated to us that he had been injured some distance away from where his body had been found. There was so much blood, we were convinced that there was no way he had been hit by a car,” she said.
Ms Akamukwa said an autopsy revealed that her brother had indeed been stabbed.
Although Ms Akamukwa said that there appeared to be no parts mutilated from her brother’s body, it did little to allay the fears of a community that believed there were ritual killers on the prowl. Since then, police had been hunting for Amisi whom they arrested only two weeks ago. He led police to the murder weapon and made certain positive indications at the scene of the incident.