Police seem to have “acquitted” a President Emmerson Mnangagwa “supporter” after presenting court papers stating the 24-year-old was acting in self-defence when he shot and killed a suspected parking tout in Harare’s CBD on Wednesday.
Llyod Boniface Kobekile, said to have been wearing a scarf similar to that of the President during the incident, was arrested soon after he shot the unnamed man in the head in full view of the public.
Different versions about the incident have emerged with witnesses saying the fracas was as a result of a dispute over parking space.
Police, on their part, say all started when the now deceased had confronted Kobekile’s sisters who had remained in the car while the shooter was pursuing some private business within the city centre.
Kobekile appeared before a Harare magistrate Friday facing murder charges and was ordered to apply for bail at the High Court.
However, police took observers by surprise when they wrote in their court papers that the shooter was cornered and forced to open fire in self-defence.
“During that time,” reads the state outline in part, “some of the deceased’s colleagues broke the window of the accused’s motor vehicle, stuffed some cardboard boxes and set it on fire.
“The accused tried to escape but the deceased and his friends continued to attack him with stones and iron bars.
“The accused ran away along Kwame Nkrumah towards First Street and the deceased and his friends gave him a chase and continued stoning him.
“The accused then produced his AG Brevet pistol, serial number 330822 and fired three warning shots in the air but the deceased and his colleagues continued attacking him. When they arrived at the intersection of First Street and Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, the accused fired and shot the deceased in the head.”
The name of the 40-year-old deceased was not disclosed.
While there was no conclusive account of what really transpired, pictures circulating on social media show the deceased holding a brick, some moments before he was shot.
Contrary to reports claiming Kobekile’s car was burnt by an angry public after the shooting, the state said the car was actually burnt first before the public attacked him.
Out of a mob that chased after him, the state wrote that the bullet went straight for the head of the man he had an altercation with earlier.
Meanwhile, Kobekile’s lawyers Oliver Marwa and Tendai Rusinahama are fighting to have the murder charge reduced to culpable homicide.
Marwa promised to raise the issue before the High Court.
According to court papers, the incident occurred on 10 October at around 10 am.
It is alleged that Kobekile parked his vehicle, a white Subaru, registration AEV 2656 at a parking bay at corner Angwa and Nkwame Nkrumah Avenue before he walked to the nearby Deeds Office.
He left his two sisters, Takudzwa Mugabe and Lorraine Kobekile in the vehicle.
The deceased, who was a rank marshal, then came and confronted the vehicle occupants on why their car had been parked in one of his bays.
Court further heard the now deceased became violent, demanding that the vehicle be removed from the bay.
When Kobekile returned, court was told, he was attacked by the deceased and his colleagues before they set his car on fire.
They went on to attack him before he shot the now deceased in self-defence.
Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the state.
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