Monday, 7 August 2017


Inspector Tendai Nehwangure had just been transferred from Mt Darwin, where he was in the operations department, to Centenary as the police officer-in-charge.

This was an elevation he only enjoyed for about two months. The now deceased Insp Nehwangure had also just gotten his driver’s licence, which could have been about five months old.

It is understood that Centenary police station does not have a vehicle; the officers rely on the benevolence of motorists for movement. This includes when shuttling between the courts and the police station, including district investigations.

Similarly, Mvurwi police station, which is 12 kilometres away from the scene of an accident which claimed the life of Insp Nehwangure recently, does not have a vehicle, hence the delay in attending the emergency. On the fateful day, Insp Nehwangure had contemplated letting his subordinate, Assistant Inspector Stanley Chimutsa, go to Bindura with other officers.

Little did he know that he was going to meet his fate on that day at around 2:40pm at the 62km peg along Centenary-Mvurwi Road. Mr Gilbert Nehwangure, brother to the late Insp Nehwangure said his brother died in the line of duty, striving to let justice take its course.

Mr Nehwangure said the family believed that a scuffle could have ensued between Gift Madzvanya, the murder and rape suspect who was being ferried to Centenary by Insp Nehwangure for indications, and other officers in the vehicle. Insp Nehwangure was carrying the suspect using a private vehicle, and the scuffle could have caused him to lose control of the vehicle.

“If these officers would have been in a proper police van, maybe this accident would not have occurred,” said Mr Nehwangure. “Remember, this suspect had beaten up an old woman and raped her, so indications that the suspect was actually violent where already there.”

Mr Nehwangure dismissed allegations that the late Insp Nehwangure was an inexperienced driver who failed to control the vehicle when he approached the curve since he was speeding.

Sister to the late Insp Nehwangure, Ms Esnath Nehwangure said on the fateful day, his brother had double thoughts on going to Bindura on that trip.

“He had decided not to go on that trip saying he would go on another trip,” she said. “He had just been transferred and he wanted to go and collect his television set and a DVD player.”

Ms Nehwangure thanked herdboy, Mr Forgetmore Tigu, who assisted some of the victims to escape death and called on local authorities to ensure they have functional fire brigade departments.

Councillor Biggie Musanzika Makanjera, also known as Madzibaba Biggie, who gave his Honda HR-V to the police details said he was deeply saddened by the development.

He is hoping the police will compensate him for the loss of his car. Mr Makanjera said he drove the officers from Centenary to Mvurwi on their way to Bindura, but dropped off in Mvurwi.

“It is unfortunate an accident occurred and there was loss of lives, but as the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident, I am also expecting a compensation for my car because it was still new, having been imported in December,” said Makanjera.

“They have always asked for my car. It is not only me, but many other business persons and farmers around this area always assist the police because they do not have the resources.”

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba admitted that the police were poorly resourced to fund all operations. She said they retain 10 percent of all collections from the traffic section and the majority goes to Government.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said resources permitting, suspected criminals should be ferried in a police van.

“The ZRP is saddened by the death of Inspector Tendai Nehwangure, Constables Mashona Musarakufa and Pride Zenda who died in the line of duty in a road traffic accident at the 62km peg along Mvurwi-Centenary road on July 24, 2017,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.

She described the late Insp Nehwangure, who was driving the Honda HR-V which encroached on the right lane resulting in a head on collision with an oncoming Nissan Caravan, as hard working and passionate about his work.

“Having been touched by the rape and callous murder of a woman who was fit to be the accused’s grandmother, Inspector Tendai Nehwangure went out of his way to ensure that the case was investigated and brought before the courts, hence his decision to personally go to Bindura Prison to take the accused for indications,” she said.

Snr Ass Comm Charamba said there were so many unanswered questions on what could have transpired in the Honda HR-V, especially in view of the violent inclination of the accused person whom he was carrying.

The Mvurwi-Centenary accident claimed the lives of 11 people, including the three police officers. Fourteen other passengers escaped with injuries. Herald


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