By Tendai Rupapa
A Harare woman, who was caught in the crossfire during a shooting incident between Chinese men and suspected armed robbers in Belgravia recently, yesterday broke down in court and wept uncontrollably while narrating how she is now wheelchair-bound following injuries she sustained during the firefight.
Kudzai Nduku and her friend Kevin Guzah were shot after Chinese security company personnel mistook them for robbers.
This led to the arrest of two Chinese men Luo Tingpen (27) and Li Yize (27) and a Zimbabwean Gamuchirai Nigel Zuze (23) for attempted murder.
While testifying during the trial of the trio before Harare regional magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya, Nduku, who was in a wheelchair, told the court that the incident changed her life physically and socially.
She singled out Luo as the one who shot her, adding that she actually asked him to help her as she was bleeding profusely, but he ran away. She said he shot her on the left hip and the bullet penetrated through her privates and exited through her right thigh.
“I am still traumatised to think that a person shoots you for no reason. I asked him why he shot me and also asked him to help me. I was bleeding profusely via the entry and exit wound, as well as through my privates, but still he looked away and fled from the scene. It was a traumatic experience for me,” she said.
“A neurosurgeon said one of the major veins was damaged and that I may never walk again. His explanation, to my understanding, meant that I have a permanent injury and chances that I may walk again are limited.”
In her testimony, she said that fuel attendants and customers who were buying food at the garage did not come to her rescue as they feared for their lives.
The accused trio are, however, denying the charges. In his defence, Luo said he never went to the service station on the day in question, while Li insisted that when he got to where Guzah was, he was already injured.
On the other hand, Zuze told the court that he had already used all his bullets at the robbery scene while exchanging gun fire with the robbers, hence, he could not have shot Nduku or Guzah.
But Nduku insists that CCTV footage from the scene actually vindicates her claim that Luo was present.
Mr Mujaya had to temporarily stop proceedings to allow Nduku to compose herself as tears trickled down her cheeks.
It is alleged that Guzah was driving a Toyota Vitz in the company of Nduku along Lincoln Road in Belgravia.
As they approached Number 17 Lincoln Road, they heard gunshots from a house.
In fear of their lives, they made a U-turn and drove towards Zuva Service Station in Belgravia. It is alleged that Luo, Li and Zuze, who are part of a reaction team at Jinglong Security, had earlier received an alert from their client that he had been robbed by people driving a Toyota Wish.
They came out of the house where the shooting was taking place and chased after the Toyota Vitz driven by Guzah.
Guzah lost control of his vehicle and crashed into one of the fuel pumps at Zuva Service Station. The trio, who were giving the chase, jumped out of their cars, approached Guzah’s car and shot Nduku in the pelvis and assaulted her. Guzah got out of his car and fled, but fell into a trench.
One of the accomplices came and shot him in the pelvis while he was still in the trench, the court heard. The Herald