AN illegal money changer was ambushed and shot dead outside a lodge in Bulawayo’s Kumalo suburb, police have confirmed.
The assailants, according to family members, got away with at least US$20 000 in the raid at around 8PM on Thursday. Madakwa Mapako’s younger brother and family spokesperson, Pardon, said his killers threw teargas cannisters at the scene to chase away onlookers.
He said Madakwa was killed near Continental Lodge where he had gone to make a transaction.
He showed the Chronicle CCTV footage that was taken at night on February 21, this year, where two masked men armed with a gun tried to lure his brother out of his house.
“Later we found out they had carjacked an usphatheleni (illegal money changer), bundled him into the boot of his car and used it in their attempt to kill my brother,” said Pardon.
He said the family was told the people who shot his brother on Thursday used a stolen vehicle to getaway.
“They used the same method as the guys we saw on CCTV. That’s why we think it’s the same people,” said Pardon. “Police know everything. In fact, when we showed them the CCTV footage, they even confirmed that they know some of the robbers. The robbers are well known and even the police know them. They tracked my brother two weeks ago.”
Madakwa, he said, used to keep at least US$20 000 in a black bag around his waist but no one can account for the money.
“I was with my bother in the afternoon on the day he died. He used to keep US$20 000 around his waist and all other currencies were kept separate. Police told us only R20 000 and ZW$60 was recovered at the scene,” he said.
Pardon dismissed social media reports that his brother was killed by soldiers.
“This Gambakwe guy on YouTube claims my brother was shot by soldiers at his house but my brother lives in Cowdray Park and was robbed in Kumalo. Some are even claiming that he was in the company of a hooker but these are all lies. He went there for a transaction,” he fumed.
Police, he said, slept on the job as the family had previously reported that Madakwa was being stalked by the robbers since February 21.
Bulawayo Province Police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube said Madakwa Mapako (48) was shot on the chest outside the lodge where he had booked for 30 minutes with his girlfriend.
“Police are investigating a case of murder which occurred outside a hotel in Bulawayo where a male adult, Madakwa Mapako was shot on the chest by armed robbers. The deceased had gone with a girlfriend to the hotel where he was only booked for 30 minutes. Upon getting out of the hotel, as he was trying to get into the car, a man emerged from the back and grabbed him. Two men joined in and in the ensuing scuffle. Mapako was shot on the chest,” said Insp Ncube.
He said the robbers searched the car and fled with an unconfirmed amount of cash while R20 000 and ZWL$60 that was tied around his waist was recovered.
Inspector Ncube appealed for information that may lead to the arrest of the culprits. —