A NOTORIOUS armed robber from the Muunganirwa extended family in Bulawayo’s Njube suburb was yesterday laid to rest at West Park cemetery following his death in Khami Remand Prison.
Bobby Tizayi Tapera, 39, died on Wednesday last week of tuberculosis.
Matabeleland Region Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services spokesperson Garainashe Moyo confirmed Tapera’s death. He said Tapera was on remand prison pending investigations over a motor vehicle theft. Moyo said Tapera died due to retroviral infection and tuberculosis.
A Chronicle news crew visited the Muunganirwa family home where mourners were gathered in Njube suburb on Sunday night and on Monday. The family members were very hostile.
On Monday, two of his relatives threatened the news crew with death and tried to confiscate a Chronicle vehicle’s ignition keys.
“What do you want? Please just go before we burn your vehicle. You want to write lies about our family. Don’t ever set your feet here because you’ll be history,” said a bouncer.
Yesterday, the atmosphere at the cemetery was tense.
The funeral was attended by a few people and a red cloth was not displayed on the gate at the home as is the norm when there is a funeral. Flashy cars such as BMW 7 series were parked near the home.
A neighbour who cannot be named for fear of victimisation said the family wanted to keep Tapera’s death a secret. He said the man was a member of the Muunganirwa extended family.
“As residents we weren’t informed about the death of Bobby, we only knew through hearsay and gossip. Most of the family members are criminals who are wanted for various offences hence they don’t want a lot of people. They suspect that police or CID may use the opportunity to apprehend them,” said a neighbour.
Tapera’s death came at a time when his relative, Isaac Muunganirwa is serving a 34 year jail sentence for a series of armed robberies, carjacking and shooting at three cops who wanted to arrest him in 2001.
The Muunganirwa family gained notoriety after one of the brothers Christopher, was shot dead in Botswana during a robbery in July 2006.