A MURDER suspect, who allegedly killed his girlfriend in 2015 and skipped bail in 2017, is walking free five years after the commission of the crime, moving from one rented house to another in Harare’s western suburbs although police say they are still looking for him.
Collin Jamu skipped bail in February 2017 and was issued with a warrant of arrest. To date, he has not been located by the police although he has been sighted several times by members of the public in Harare.
He is accused of killing his lover Mitchel Chipere in Glen Norah A over several misunderstandings.
The Chipere family, and even Jamu’s own father, want him apprehended and tried for the alleged crime, but cannot understand why he is still walking free despite their efforts in alerting the police of his whereabouts.
Jamu also faces theft charges, allegedly committed during the murder.
The victim’s parents and other neighbours say they often see Jamu in Harare and alert the police as to his whereabouts, but to date he has not been arrested.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi this week said they are still looking for the suspect to effect the warrant of arrest.
“Police are looking for that person who is reportedly on the run. We are urging anyone with information that can help in the arrest of the person to come forward. We want to arrest him so that justice can be done to the case,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
The theft record had reportedly been sent to the archives when The Herald asked for it at the Harare Magistrates Court.
A Herald reporter disguised as the victim’s relative and accompanied by the victim’s father to Glen Norah police station, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the High Court where the officers expressed ignorance of such a case. No one appeared to remember the case while at Glen Norah police station, some police officers insisted that the parents effect a citizen arrest next time they locate Jamu.
The Herald spoke to Mitchel’s father, Mr Brighton Chipere, at his Glen Norah A house where he said he was bitter with the manner the local police station was handling his daughter’s case.
“Jamu admitted in his statement to the police that he killed my daughter. In fact, he was caught in my house soon after committing the offence. He also confessed to stealing our property which was later found dumped next door.
“He appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court before being indicted for trial at the High Court. When he was freed on bail, he was ordered to report at Glen Norah police station but I gather that he absconded.
“His trial was supposed to start in 2017 at the High Court but he never showed up. He also defaulted trial on the theft charge at the Magistrates Court,” he said.
Mr Chipere told The Herald that he had on some occasions spotted Jamu in surrounding areas and informed the police who failed to apprehend him.
He also identified house number 2054 Glen Norah A as the place where Collin once stayed while police were looking for him but the police “missed him”.
“I even went to the extent of informing the police where Jamu was staying. However, the day the police visited the rented house, they could not find him but only found his girlfriend. Each time the police visited that house, Jamu would just disappear and re-surface after they were gone.
“It seems like someone in the police is protecting Jamu to an extent of leaking any planned raids,” he said.
Mr Chipere said the officer-in-charge at Glen Norah Police Station, who was fairly new, confirmed that the docket had missing documents.
“I got disappointed when the officer-in-charge of Glen Norah police station told me that some papers were missing from Jamu’s docket. He also added that Jamu had since failed to report to the police as part of his bail conditions,” he said.
The Herald went to 2054 Glen Norah A where Jamu once stayed while on the run and his co-tenants confirmed he had stayed there for months together with his girlfriend only identified as Vimbai. The house is near a dumpsite where Jamu was spotted on several occasions hanging out.
When asked to confirm whether Jamu once stayed there, a tenant said: “Yes, the two used to stay here. We heard people saying Jamu had killed his first girlfriend but I could not believe it. They were living normally here, but there are occasions when he would severely assault his girlfriend.
“I recently met the girlfriend and she told me that they are now staying in Marimba Park.”
The tenant added that she again once bumped into Jamu at Mbudzi Roundabout selling cream doughnuts.
“I met Jamu just before lockdown in March this year at Mbudzi Roundabout selling doughnuts but I did not talk to him. I thought his cases had been finalised. I am actually surprised to hear that police are looking for him,” she said.
A neighbour said she last saw Jamu selling second-hand clothes in Mbare.
“I saw him in Mbare selling second-hand clothes a few months ago. He was relaxed and going about his business nonchalantly. It’s only that we did not know the status of his court cases,” added the neighbour.
Sometime last year, police apprehended Jamu but took him to the wrong court where he was released.
Instead of taking him to the High Court where he was wanted for a murder trial, the police officers took him to the Magistrates’ Court.
The Herald also visited the wanted man’s parents at 2244 Glen Norah A, two streets away from Mr Chipere’s house.
Mr Stanely Jamu, confirmed his son was in Harare adding that he had on several occasions assisted the police to locate him.
“I have done my best to assist in the search for my son. His case must be completed and if convicted, he must undergo rehabilitation. There have been a lot of theories and speculations about this case and I am also keen to see its finalisation,” he said.
“My son must face justice. When he reportedly committed the crime he was arrested and remanded in custody only to be freed on bail at the High Court. However since then, he has absconded court proceedings.
Mr Jamu said he had done all he could to assist the police in locating his son but he too is baffled as to why they have not apprehended him.
“I remember when the police came here looking for him but he was not around. I called and lied to him that some people wanted to do business with him. In no time, Collin was on his way and before he even got to the house, the police who were hiding three houses from here picked him up. However, I was surprised to see him after a few hours walking freely in the streets.”
Mr Jamu added that Collin was now into drugs and is aware that he is a wanted person. He keeps changing his movements and whereabouts.
“If ever I discover where he is now staying, I will inform the police. Once he serves his jail term, he will come out a changed person,” he said.