BY REX MPHISA
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has arrested Bright Zhantali (30) on allegations of murdering more than seven women across the country making him possibly one of Zimbabwe’s worst serial killers of recent times.
More unsolved murders in Rusape, Nyanga and Mutare could be solved after Zhantali told police he was responsible for other deaths in those areas in his spree known to have been in this year alone.
Zhantali (pictured) seemed a lone sadistic operator whose murderous business was concentrated around Marondera though his indications after arrest suggest a far reaching killer.
He preyed on mostly elderly commercial sex workers he mated with before taking their lives but on certain occasions pounced on unsuspecting victims raped and axed to death.
The sex hungry and bloody thirsty maniac stole petty amounts of cash and mobile phones from some of his victims whose bodies were dumped in isolated places, burnt or just abandoned by the crime scenes in their homes or vleis and rivers where he slain them gruesomely with axes they will be using to get firewood.
One victim was attacked as she prayed.
Zhantali, whose national registration details are 15 -175173-C-15 is from F13, Dandamira Township, Concession or his rural home at Ruvhanga Village, chief Negomo, Chiweshe some 140 kilometres north of Harare.
His victims so far discovered are Mercy Simairi (28) years of Progress farm, Marondera, Chipo Gwese (40 ) of Ndudzo village Chief Svosve, Hwedza, Betty Mlambo (43) of 9 Chitumbwana, Dombotombo, Marondera and Nelia Maringe (44) years Grasslands farm, Marondera.
There is also Meggie Kaomba Aged (61) 14 Cherutombo Street Cherutombo, Marondera, Patricia Tsoka (49) years, of Chawatama Hardware industrial Site, Marondera and a yet unidentified female adult estimated at between 35 and 40 years.
He has however confessed butchering many others including one unidentified body recovered in Marondera on his information and indications.
According to a ZRP memo which has gone viral on social media Zhantali’s Count 1 (One) was on 15 January 2022 at around 1400 hours when Zhantali met Simairi at Dejagger Bus Stop and offered accompanying her to Roughlands Farm where she wanted to buy mushrooms.
On the way he tripped and allegedly raped her once without protection before strangling her to semi consciousness. He finished her off with a stone hitting her several times on the head.
Then he buried the body in a shallow pit a few metres away and covered it with grass and took the deceased’s mobile phone and sim card valued at $150, crime recorded under ZRP Marondera Rural CR 76/01/22, CID Marondera DR 57/01/22.
Three days later on 18 January 2022 at around 2300 hours the accused person hooked up with commercial sex worker Gwese at Tempest Bar, Hwedza Growth Point 64 kilometres south of Marondera.
They went to her rural home and had quality time and he was to spend the next day there. He never came out of the room.
He turned a monster on 20 January 2022 at around 0200 hours when he allegedly strangled the Gwese in her sleep until she was dead.
He tied his victim’s hands behind her back and covered her with clothes before stealing her maroon T-Shirt, an Itel handset with an Econet line 0771432826, a 3kg blue gas tank and USD$111 all valued at USD$150-00 and went away as recorded under ZRP Hwedza CR 34/01/22, CID Marondera DR 58/01/22.
Back in Marondera on 22 January 2022 at around 2200 hours Zhantali met and hooked up with Mlambo, a lady of the night, who was on the road just by the gate at Number 9, Chitumbwana, Dombotombo, Marondera and agreed to have sexual intercourse.
Some four hours later after a couple of sexual encounters, Zhantali strangled Mlambo in her sleep and wrapped her body in blankets before setting it ablaze. The body of the now deceased was burnt beyond recognition.
As usual, Zhantali went away with now deceased’s property which includes a an Itel handset with an Econet line 0773857278 and USD$120 all valued at USD$130-00 as referenced by ZRP Dombotombo CR 01/02/22 and CID Marondera DR 23/02/22.
On his Count 4 on 7 February 2022 and at around 1500 hours, Zhantali who sat along the Harare – Mutate highway spotted Maringe some 100 meters inside Grasslands Farm.
He then approached Maringe who was reading her Bible and made a love proposal she refused but he went on to rape her.
He struck her once on the head with an axe she had been using to cut firewood before leaving a note in her Bible. He took a Huawei Cellphone with Econet line 0773003835 valued at $150 recorded under ZRP Marondera Rural CR 41/02/22 and CID Marondera DR 34/02/22.
On 11 March 2022 and at around 1400 hours Zhantali sat at a field at Hunyani Estates close to a Golf Course in Marondera when he saw his fifth victim Kaomba cutting firewood.
He attacked her from behind and raped her once without protection before slaying her with her axe. He struck the 61 year-old twice on the head and went away with her axe as recorded under ZRP Marondera Rural CR79/03/22 and CID Marondera DR 41/03/22.
Still baying for more innocent blood, on 12 March 2022 at around 2200 hours, Zhantali hooked up with Tsoka, a commercial sex worker, seen at Dombotombo Shops in Marondera and the two agreed to quality time.
Zhantali lied to Tsoka that he resided in Cherima, Marondera near Rakodzi High School and wanted them to go together to his place of house. On their way at swampy area between Cherima and Yellow City, Marondera Zhantali grabbed Tsoka from behind and raped her once without protection.
He went on to strangle her using his bare hands and after she died threw the body into swamps and went away without taking anything. This is recorded under ZRP Dombotombo CR 48/03/22 and CID Marondera DR 40/03/22.
Earlier, on an unknown date sometime in early February 2022, and at around 2100 hours, Zhantali confessed hooking up with a yet unidentified commercial sex worker at Chikaido’s Bar, Nyameni Shops, Marondera.
The unidentified victim told Zhantali her discomfort in taking him to her place in Nyameni where she lived with her younger sister at home at that time.
They agreed to go his “house” in Paradise Park, Marondera but on the way and along a foot path behind Cherutombo High School, the Zhantali grabbed the now deceased from behind and raped her once without protection and later went on to strangle her using his hands.
After killing her he dumped the body by throwing it into a river some 20 metres away and went away with the now deceased’s unknown cellphone and a plastic bag with dagga which is yet to be recovered, all recorded under CID Marondera DR 47/03/22.
The CID Marondera who attended all scenes used information from mobile phone service providers and arrested Zhantali who has assisted with information and indications that led to the discovery of some bodies.
“The accused person has so far made indications on all the above mentioned 6 reported murder cases and other two unreported with one under count 7 in which efforts are underway to identify the victim whose body was found in an advanced state of decomposition.
“The other one is in Macheke and efforts are currently underway to locate the body,” the police memo said.
“The accused person has also indicated that he committed murders in Rusape, Mutare and Nyanga. The respective stations have since been advised,” said the memo.