A Mutare man yesterday recounted how he narrowly avoided being a homicide victim after a harrowing encounter with triple homicide suspect, Jaison Muvevi, who allegedly shot and killed three people in Hwedza last Friday before fleeing the country, only to be arrested in Mozambique yesterday morning.
Raphael Nyahwema (23), a son to Mutare Boys High School caretaker, said he was in a drunken stupor when he came face to face with the suspected serial killer who had gone to the school’s staff quarters looking for food.
He confronted Muvevi, demanding to know what the rogue ex-policeman wanted at the school premises.
This did not go down well with Muvevi who produced a pistol and fired three shots at Nyahwema, but missed.
Nyahwema managed to flee from the scene and Muvevi disappeared. Muvevi sneaked into Mozambique through an illegal crossing point soon after attempting to kill Nyahwema.
Witnesses said Muvevi stormed the school on Sunday afternoon and demanded food, before opening fire on Nyahwema who had confronted him.
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Mutare Boys High School headmaster, Mr Phillip Padhuze, confirmed the incident, saying Muvevi fired three shots in the school grounds, but no one was injured.
“Muvevi arrived at the school on Sunday afternoon and went to the school quarters where some of our staffers stay. He confronted one of the ladies and demanded food.
“One of our caretakers’ son confronted him and he opened fire on him. He missed him and one of the bullets hit a geyser.
“Our learners were not affected by the shooting incident as the gunman disappeared after firing the shots. Police swiftly reacted and they provided security for our learners the whole night,” said Mr Padhuze.
Nyahwema said he was lucky to be alive as Muvevi fired ar close range.
“Muvevi confronted me when I arrived at the pavilion at the sports ground. He asked me to cook food for him, but I refused. I realised that he had a gun and since I was cornered, I tried to pick a hoe-handle and that is when he opened fire.
“The bullets missed me by a whisker and I bolted from the scene shouting for help. He remained behind while I ran for dear life,” said Nyahwema.
Ms Zvikomborero Mangorwa who was first confronted by Muvevi while she was taking a bath, said he violently knocked on their door and demanded that all the house occupants should move out.
“I was taking a bath when he knocked on the door. When I opened the door, I realised that there was an armed person at our door. He asked for food. He also produced a US$10 bill and asked me to buy him a roadrunner chicken to prepare a meal for him but I refused.
“He asked where he was and when I told him that he was at Mutare Boys High School. He then asked for directions to Mozambique.
“He was barefooted and putting on a blue work-suit. He pretended to leave but when my sister came back home, he confronted her. I tried to signal to my sister to be careful as he was armed, but my sister failed to read my signal. She continued talking with him as he was seated outside on the pavilion,” she said.
“He lied that he was on a mission to kill baboons as he had heard that they were a menace in the area and the shots he had fired were meant to scare away the baboons.
“He insisted that he wanted food and even said he was prepared to cook his own food but my sister stood her ground and said she could not allow a stranger in her house,” said Ms Mangorwa.
She said Muvevi left when he realised that there were some people coming into the house.
“When some of the workers came to our house after hearing the gunshots, Muvevi started walking away. One of the phones rang and Muvevi came back and threatened to shoot him for speaking on the phone. He later walked away and disappeared into the thicket,” added Ms Mangorwa.
Asked how he was feeling in the aftermath of the near-death encounter, Nyahwema said: “I am feeling okay since I am always drunk.”
Muvevi then skipped the border into Mozambique, where he was arrested by that country’s police officers after creating more dramatic scenes.
A source close to the investigation said Muvevi was unlikely to be extradited to Zimbabwe yesterday as there were formalities to be completed.
He was also likely to first appear in a Mozambican court to answer to charges of illegal entry into the country and pointing a firearm at a police officer.
Muvevi, who is understood to have been a gold dealer, killed an apostolic church prophet in cold blood as he was preaching in front of congregants in Hwedza on Friday afternoon.
He went on to fatally shoot the officer-in-charge of Hwedza Police Station, Inspector Maxwell Hove and a male bartender, Munashe Mujanhi (20), while another police officer was seriously injured.
After killing the three, Muvevi escaped resulting in police launching a manhunt for him.
Investigations have revealed that Muvevi fled to Mutare where he bought a navy blue worksuit at a shop situated at Wasu Mall before he went to Mutare Boys High School premises.
A team of detectives and other security agents remained on high alert when they received information that Muvevi was still in Mutare and was likely to cross the border into Mozambique.
They then alerted their counterparts across the border and provided them with Muvevi’s pictures.
His luck ran out yesterday morning after he was identified when he was about to board a commuter omnibus in Manica, Mozambique. He was then arrested after a scuffle by police in the neighbouring country.
A team of detectives has been deployed to Mozambique to carry out the due processes of the law before Muvevi is taken back to the country for prosecution.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest of Muvevi saying: “The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that the murder suspect, Jaison Muvevi, has been arrested in Mozambique this (yesterday) morning,” he said.
Ass Comm Nyathi said the victims of the murder had been identified as Crispen Mubvana Kanerusine (62) of Zinzombe Village, Hwedza, Inspector Maxwell Hove (43) of ZRP Hwedza Camp and Munashe Mujanhi (20) of Mujanhi Village, Hwedza.
“The injured is Detective Constable Tendai Mugova. The Zimbabwe Republic Police acknowledges and appreciates the support given by members of the public in the pursuit of the suspect.
“Equally, we applaud the bilateral relations with Mozambican police counterparts which has led to the collaboration and arrest of Jason Muvevi,” he said.
On Saturday, police located Muvevi in the Chiduku area near Rusape, and it is alleged that the moment he realised he was being pursued, he opened fire, sparking a exchange of gunfire with law enforcement agents that were heavily deployed in the area.
Realising that he was being cornered, Muvevi abandoned his Toyota Allion vehicle and fled on foot into the nearby Chigora mountain.
Apart from the car, police also recovered a Techno mobile phone and a ZRP FN Rifle loaded with four rounds of ammunition.
Last week, driving the white Toyota Allion, Muvevi arrived at the apostolic sect shrine at 2.30pm where members had congregated for their Friday prayers, and immediately pulled out a firearm and shot at the sect’s leaders from point blank range.
He then attacked policemen who had heeded a distress call. The lone gunman then shot and killed the Hwedza Police Station officer-in-charge and seriously injured another police officer.
From there, Muvevi drove his vehicle to Mukamba Business Centre where he shot and killed another person, before speeding off.-Herald