Inter Africa Bus Company Owner Arrested, Appears In Court
22 June 2024
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By A Correspondent| Leonard Mukumba, the chairman of Inter Africa Buses, appeared before the Mutare Magistrates Court yesterday on charges of inciting violence at the Sakubva bus terminus. The 52-year-old businessman, who had been evading arrest since the violent incidents in May 2024, surrendered to the police and was brought to court on June 20th.

Mukumba is facing accusations related to a series of violent clashes that erupted earlier this year at Mutare bus terminus. According to the State’s case, tensions began in May 2023 when Mukumba Transport and other small transport operators voiced complaints about difficulties in loading passengers. The operators had collectively decided to adopt a queuing system and appointed rank marshals to manage the loading process at all termini.

However, the situation escalated when Mupfumi Buses,owned by Zanu PF Central Committee member Isau Mupfumi, which had more than 20 buses contracted to ZUPCO, withdrew from the queuing arrangement on May 22, 2024, opting to use its own rank marshals. This move was not accepted by the marshals who were part of the agreed system, led by Jealous Mukorera.

The State alleges that on May 23, 2024, Mukumba mobilized his rank marshals to commit acts of violence against Mupfumi bus employees. The initial incident occurred at Sakubva Musika, where a group led by Brighton Ndamuka attacked Mupfumi bus loader Farai Chitsa with machetes, golf sticks, and sjamboks.

Later that day, the court heard, another group of Mukumba’s marshals, led by Taurai Gumede, confronted Mupfumi bus employees at Sakubva Musika Swimming Pool area. They accused the employees of inciting violence and slapped loader Vincent Mupindu multiple times.

The violence continued at Mudzviti bus terminus. Prosecutor Sandra Mlambo said, on May 24, 2024, Mukumba’s marshals launched another assault at Greenmarket, Mutare, armed with machetes, golf sticks, and sjamboks. They attacked individuals and damaged a Toyota Wish vehicle. Police intervened, leading to a high-speed chase and the eventual recovery of abandoned vehicles..

Mukumba reported to CID Law and Order Manicaland on June 20, 2024, where he was interviewed and subsequently arrested for inciting public violence. Mukumba, was granted US$1,000 bail under strict conditions: he must continue residing at his given address, not interfere with witnesses, and report to ZRP Borrowdale in Harare on the last Friday of every month.

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