“I never expected that my former classmate would be the one to bring me so much pain and agony. We were never friends, but neither were we enemies. Why would he kill my son?” cried a father in pain after Hwedza killer ex-cop caused so much pain in the area where he grew up.
Mr Edmore Musengeyi’s son, Munashe Majanhi, was gunned down by Jaison Muvevi, the former CID officer who went on a shooting rampage in Hwedza last week, also killing Crispen Kanerusine, a leader of the Johane Masowe yeChishanu apostolic sect, as well as officer-in-charge of Hwedza police station Maxwell Hove.
The niece of Madzibaba Kanerusine, Netsai Tiriboyi, was another classmate of the killer and Mr Musengeyi, stressing the closeness of the community that was hit by one of its own with a gun.
The killer was no stranger to Negombwe area. He grew up there, went to church with many in the area and even school with some of the people who were affected by his actions.
Edward Musengeyi and Muvevi were in the same class for four years of secondary school at St Mathias Ruswa.
Although they were not friends, they were never enemies and they never once exchanged bad words.
“Jaison and I grew up together in this village. We were in the same class from the time we started Form 1 until we finished our Ordinary Level examinations in 1999. He had his own circle of friends and I had mine, so we never really played together but we were civil with each other and we never had bad blood.
“He was actually a quiet guy who never fought with anyone. I am actually surprised that he would do such a thing, and to my child,” said Musengeyi.
After writing their O-Level examinations, Jaison and Edmore went separate ways and pursued different paths in life. Their paths only crossed once between 1999 and the day Munashe and the others were killed.
Twenty years after school, the two men had a chance meeting at Mukamba Business Centre.
“In 2019 when we met, I had actually forgotten him but he recognised me and he called out to me. I remember telling him I could not place his face and he reminded me that he was Jaison Muvevi, a former classmate. We spoke for some time and he even bought me some beers while we were catching up. That was the last time I saw him or spoke to him,” Musengeyi added.
On the day Musengeyi lost his son, he heard about the shootings but not once did he imagine that his son was the victim. When the news finally got to him that Munashe had been killed, it was made worse by the knowledge that someone from their village had been responsible.
After speaking for a few minutes, people were sh0cked to hear a gunshot and then see Munashe falling. No one knows what was discussed between the two but there were no raised voices or any sign of a fight. They are not even sure if Munashe knew Muvevi.
All they can do is speculate.
Even his father might never know why his son was killed.
“I am in pain right now, especially knowing that a person I once called a classmate could take my child’s life. If I were to meet him today, I don’t think our meeting would end well. It’s unfortunate that a person I grew up with, such a quiet person who never fought with anyone, can think of such a heinous thing,” he said in tears.
But it was not only Musengeyi and his family who lost his loved ones to Muvevi’s actions.
Madzibaba Sirage (Kanerusine) had relatives who knew his killer. His niece, Netsai Tiriboyi was also in the same class with the killer.
She was at the shrine when Muvevi shot her uncle and she only got to know later that the man who had produced a gun at the shrine was once a classmate.
“When he arrived at the shrine, I did not immediately recognise him. After he had shot my uncle, and people started saying his name, that is when it clicked that I knew him. We were in the same class at St Mathias Ruswa and we finished our O-Levels in 1999. He was a cool person and I don’t remember a time he was in trouble. After school we went our separate ways. It is so painful that my father had to die at the hands of someone who was part of our village,” she said.
A young Muvevi had once been a part of the church that he later came back to for a killing.
According to the community, as a child, he would go with his mother to church every week. He had stopped when he reached his teenage years.
Although he was no longer part of the church, Muvevi was still part of the community.
“We hear the man who has done such a heinous thing is a child from this village who went to school here. It pains us that a child from here can go out there and come back to do such a bad thing. We actually expected that our children would come back with good initiatives that help the area to develop, not to bring death and grief to us,” said Mr Stephen Mutombwa, a villager in Ruzane village.
Another villager Mr Fanuel Mapindu said the whole community was still waiting to hear why Muvevi had decided to bring so much pain and heartache in a community where he grew up.
Maybe now that he has been caught, the killer himself will provide answers to what was going on in his mind when he went back to the village of his origin and did the unthinkable.
Only time will tell.