• Witness still breaks down 27 years on
GWERU – Paul Razika was in the same car with Patrick Kombayi when the former Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) candidate for Gweru Urban got seven bullets pumped into his body by members of the Central Intelligence Organisation during the 1990 General Elections campaign.
Razika who was an election agent for ZUM said in an interview with The Mirror that Zanu PF is a party that is capable of denying people justice for its own sake.
Razika broke down several times as he narrated the shooting incident and the brazen manner in which Kombayi was denied justice.
He says Kombayi was callously shot at for merely getting to a scene where he thought his truck had been involved in an accident. 25 bullets, including some from an AK 47 were pumped into his car and seven hit him as Central Intelligence officers fired from about 10 metres away, said Razika.
Of the five accused, only two attended court while the rest just ignored summons and were never brought to justice.
He said the worst part was that President Mugabe pardoned Kombayi's attackers, barely an hour after their conviction and sentence to seven years in jail by Bulawayo High Court Judge Wilbert Mapombere for attempted murder.
They never saw the prison door. To add salt to injury, President Mugabe declared the convicted murderers heroes with Kanengoni being buried at the National Heroes' Acre while Chifamba was made a provincial hero.
"Mugabe's pardon left me feeling like a lesser human. This is the most cruel experience I have ever had in my life. After the Judge sent the accused to jail, Kombayi and I were shocked when two hours later the jailed guys, Chivamba and Kanengoni overtook us in a Nissan car registration 507144S as we drove back from Bulawayo to Gweru," said Razika.
Apart from being an election agent for ZUM, Razika was close to Kombayi. On March 25, 1990 a party youth called and said Kombayi's shops in Ridgemont in Gweru were being vandalized by Zanu PF youths.
"I went there and found five of our youths injured after being shot in the legs. Kombayi arrived later and we organised that the injured be taken to hospital in a UD truck. Near the shops was also the late Vice President Muzenda's vehicle which was burning," said Razika.
Kombayi and Razika followed the UD truck driving in Kombayi's Peugeot 405. About 500m metres before Gweru CBD, they saw the truck in a scene that looked like an accident.
Initially Kombayi refused to go to the scene but Razika insisted and it was just as they arrived at the scene that a hail of bullets greeted them.
People who had gathered there fled as gunfire exploded.
"l saw Chivamba, Kanengoni, Gorge Rushwaya, Bonny Hungwe, Godfrey Mugodhi who was wearing a purple shirt and another guy called Photo shooting at us from the right side.
"I think the car took about 22 to 25 shots and seven landed on Kombayi. What saved me is probably Kombayi's big frame as he sat on the side from which the bullets were coming.
"After taking the bullets, Kombayi raised his right hand, opened the door of the car and shouted out to his attackers and said 'Ok, Ok you can stop you have killed me.
"When he opened the door l saw Kanengoni shooting Kombayi again from his AK rifle. The bullet hit Kombayi on the right leg and he fell down onto the tarmac heavily bleeding.
"When the guns fell silent, I left my seat to assist Kombayi back into the car so I could take him to hospital. One of the attackers ordered me to leave him to die but I was so determined that I was ready for any fate.
"A reporter from ZBC, I think it was Tapfuma Machakaire arrived on the scene and started taking pictures but he was ordered to delete them," said Razika.
Kombayi and the injured five youth were taken to Gweru General Hospital and Surgical operations were done. Kombayi was transferred from Gweru to Bulawayo and then to London courtesy of assistance from the Roman Catholic Church.
He came back seven months later and we started the legal battle against the attackers. Chivamba and Kanengoni were brought to court but the other four never appeared in court.
Tawanda Chitapi led the prosecution while Kanengoni and Chivamba were represented by Canaan Dube. Chitapi tried to send summons to the four but no one signed them.
Some of those involved in the shooting were Vice President Muzenda's guards Bonny Hungwe and Godfrey Mugodhi and Rushwaya who was from Central Intelligence.news