HARARE – There was drama at Boris Mushonga’s funeral wake yesterday, as gunshots were fired at the late robber’s Mbare home.
The 23-year-old man was one of five people killed in a horror crash on Thursday after their Toyota Raum was involved in a head-on collision with a Muzeya Bus near Zindoga Shopping Centre in Harare last week.
As people gathered to bid farewell to Mushonga in Rusike Street, mourners had to scurry for cover after police detectives fired warning shots as they tried to apprehend the alleged robber’s fleeing friends, who are also on the force’s wanted list for various crimes.
Moments before the police’s arrival, friends and associates of the now deceased “robber”, had snatched the coffin to go for a spin, and parade their fallen comrade” in a gangster-style farewell around the populous suburb.
Dereck Mushonga, the family spokesperson, also confirmed to the Daily News there was commotion “when the coffin was snatched.”
“We were preparing to go to Granville Cemetery when his friends snatched the coffin and took it for a farewell ride,” he said.
The late Boris’ uncle also said that “police had laid an ambush on his nephew’s friends” and the ride was short-lived as detectives pounced on the procession, firing warning shots into the air to bring order and retrieve the coffin.
“People fled in different directions and it was only after the melee had died down that we were able to pick up the coffin, which had fallen by the roadside,” said Mushonga.
The drama played out in Mbare early on Monday after four of Mushonga’s friends had been buried at the weekend.
Although police spokesperson Charity Charamba declined to confirm whether or not the deceased was on the police wanted list, police sources told this paper that on the fateful day, Mushonga and his colleagues had pounced on a foreign national and grabbed $25 000.
“They used to operate as a gang with a woman to disguise their intentions,” a detective in the Homicide section told the Daily News. “We handled many armed robbery cases against the team.”
Plain clothed detectives had been camped at the funeral since Thursday last week staking out potential accomplices and other robbers.
When the Daily News visited Mushonga’s homestead, visibly shaken mourners said they had never experienced what they saw yesterday. The drama was also captured on camera by mourners.
Dereck Mushonga said their family was “concerned by the police’s behaviour”, charging the cops had caused such a commotion, anxiety and unnecessary disturbance at the wake.
“Yvonne, Boris’ mother who had come all the way from Ireland was very disturbed by what happened,” he said.
The Daily News was denied access to the grieving mum.
Nonetheless, the late youngster was buried alongside his four comrades at the ever-expanding Granville Cemetery, popularly known as kuMbudzi.
Police sources said Boris and his accomplices had huge sums of cash when they collided with the bus, but the cash had mysteriously disappeared at the accident scene.
“There are many stories… about him and his colleagues to the effect that they had a lot of money when they died, but I don’t know anything about that,” Dereck said.
Some of the late gangster’s friends told this paper that Boris’ face had been badly damaged and they had to identify him through tattoos on his body, including one of his wrist and reading “the most wanted”.