POLICE in Mashonaland East have arrested a suspected serial rapist and killer Bright Zhantali (30) for murdering six women in and around Marondera on separate days.
Zhantali from Dandamira Township, Concession raped Mercy Simairi (28), Nelia Maringe (44), Meggie Kaomba (61) and Patricia Tsoka (49) before killing them.
He also sexually abused Chipo Gwese (40) and Betty Mlambo (43) who he later killed.
“At around 2100hours on Saturday using information from service providers and our informer network, the accused person was arrested. He has so far made indications on all the above-mentioned six reported murder cases and other two unreported cases, with one under count seven in which efforts are underway to identify the victim whose body was found in an advanced state of decomposition,” national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement.
“The other one is in Macheke and efforts are currently underway to locate the body. The accused also indicated that he committed murders in Rusape, Mutare and Nyanga. The respective stations have since been advised. What is outstanding is to recover stolen property.”
Allegations are that at around 1400hours on January 15, Zhantali met Simairi at Dejagger bus stop on her way to Roughlands Farm to look for mushrooms and offered to accompany her.
On arrival at Roughlands Farm, Zhantali tripped the now deceased and raped her once.
The accused person then struck the now deceased with a stone several times on the head until she died.
Thereafter he buried the body in a shallow pit a few metres away and covered it with grass and shrubs.
The accused person got away with the now deceased’s Tecno cellphone and a Samsung handset all valued at US$150.
In another case at around 2300hours on January 18, Zhantali hooked up with Gwese at Tempest Bar, Hwedza growth point and they agreed to go home together.
The pair had intimacy at now deceased’s place of residence in Ndudzo village under Chief Svosve in Hwedza.
At around 0200hours on January 20, Zhantali strangled the now deceased who was fast asleep using his hands.
The accused later tied her hands from behind using shoe laces and covered the body with clothes.