….as armed robbers uproot Shongamiti’s venerable business icon
Shedding unending tears without any consolation, over what they call a deep twist of an okapi knife unto a chest wound hardly healed, the community of Chivi South’s Shongamiti Business Centre is yet to come to terms over the tragic death of a local role model following an unprecedented armed robbery.
Four hours into their sleep on October 18, 2021 at around 1:30 am, prominent Shongamiti businessman Tafara Gudoshava (43) together with his wife Emeldah Chapungu were awakened by a bang on the door of their main house.
They came face-to-face with a gang of about five armed men who had broken into their home, an incident that would result in them harvesting Gudoshava’s life.
The robbers swiftly seized all the occupants’ cellphones and a substantial amount of money and unbeknownst to him, Gudoshava could not helplessly watch as his hard-earned money disappear with the thugs so easily.
As a result, a scuffle briefly ensued between him and the thugs resulting in one of the robbers discharging a bullet into Gudoshava’s lower abdomen.
Gudoshava’s wife told TellZim News that her husband was rushed to Ngundu clinic and later transferred to a Masvingo private clinic where he succumbed to the injuries a day after being shot.
“When they forcefully entered the house, the robbers who were about five took money amounting to R15 000. All our cellphones were seized and they later on left one of the cellphones outside and disappeared with the rest of the money and the other cellphones. There was a brief brawl when the robbers entered the house as my husband tried in vain to prevent the robbery and this resulted in one of the thugs shooting him on the stomach,” said Chapungu.
Still in disbelief that Gudoshava had unjustly met his fate, thousands of mourners thronged his homestead on Thursday, October 21, to pay their last respects to the man whom they described as an irreplaceable icon to the entire Shongamiti community.
A devoted Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) member and a father of three girls, Gudoshava was described by locals as a venerable businessman whose hardworking spirit was a unique source of inspiration to many.
Gudoshava’s longtime friend Tamuka Dewa, a teacher at Shongamiti Secondary School was at loss of words as he narrated the tragic demise of his friend.
“Our friendship dates back before Gudoshava got married. He was a very hardworking sociable businessman who helped many in different ways around Shongamiti and beyond. He was a talented soccer player and on many occasions he would sacrifice his own personal resources making local sponsorships on football. Right now I am yet to believe that my best friend is gone forever. The man has left a gap which is difficult if not impossible to fill,” said Dewa.
Other locals said they no longer feel secure given that every corner of the country has turned into a safe haven for armed robbers.
“No amount of matching justice is going to bring back Gudoshava. The man was really a father figure. Just imagining that a person of his caliber was gunned down in such a manner simply shows that we the ordinary men and women are totally insecure.
“Those who are responsible must ensure that police officers are better resourced so that they are always on critical forgotten vulnerable places like Shongamiti. Just imagine a robbery occurred here and people had to telephone detectives from Ngundu police station which is a distant away from Shongamiti and under such a situation we expect robbers to be swiftly accounted for?” said Loveness Tshuma who hails from Shongamiti.
Taking advantage of ill-equipped police detectives, who owing to lack of service vehicles on many occasions had to rely on vehicles from well-wishers to react to cases of armed robberies, rural business centres and growth points have become major targets for daring robbers who seem to be on a destruction spree, not hesitating to shoot.