REMEMBER the deadliest combination of criminals in America — Clyde Champion Barrow and Bonnie Parker, simply known as Bonnie and Clyde. The two were suspected of committing numerous killings, murders, robbery and state charges of kidnappings.
The duo met in Texas in January 1930. At the time, Bonnie was 19 and married to an imprisoned murderer. Clyde was 21 and unmarried. Soon after, he was arrested for burglary and sent to jail. He escaped using a gun Bonnie had smuggled to him, was recaptured and sent back to prison.
Clyde was paroled in February 1932, rejoined Bonnie and resumed a life of crime. At the time they were killed in 1934, they were believed to have committed 13 murders and several cases of robbery and burglaries.
The two were shot and killed by officers in an ambush near Sailes, Bienville Parish in Louisiana, on May 23 in 1934, after one of the most colourful and spectacular manhunts the nation had seen up to that time.
More than 84 years down the line, in the sprawling suburb of Sakubva, in Matida, another combination emerged.
Though not as deadly as the American duo, the menacing lads had caused sleepless nights to Mutare residents.
In an interview with The Weekender last week, the gang, who called themselves The Outlawz (Tupac’s backing group), had a confession to the people of Mutare.
Stealing other people’s wares and fleecing unsuspecting vendors of their hard-earned cash through conniving with unscrupulous police officers was their day-to-day modus operandi. Cross-border traders were also their easy targets. For several years, they earned a living through various unscrupulous means and drug dealings.
But it came a day that they decided to abandon their chosen profession.
“We pounced on a cross-border trader, a woman from Bulawayo. I had a friend, Gideon. We intimidated her and made good our escape with $4 000. I used $50 that day after I bought some bronco. We were still contemplating on what to do with the money. Unlike other days we could share our loot equally, that night I kept the money to myself.
The following day we woke up and realised that Gideon had lost his mind. He became a mentally challenged man from that day. I was so scared that I could not believe that Gideon was now walking naked on the streets eating food from the bins,” said Jefrey Manikai (31), who christened himself Fatal Hussein, (Tupac Outlawz’ ring leader).
He added that he later found the contacts of the Bulawayo woman and returned $3 950 after Gideon started showing signs of mental instability.
Gideon was part of the gang together with Knowledge Makaruse (18) who also called himself Yaki Kadafi (another member of Tupac’s Outlawz).
Added Kadafi: “We now want to live a clean life. Gideon akatanga kupenga. And we realised that we were not clever as we thought we were. We lived a lavish lifestyle. Police were our friends. We could connive with them to arrest people selling in undesignated points before we shared the loot together. That was around Meikles Park, Sakubva and Mutare CBD. We stole phones, cash, laptops and various other things. We want to apologise to victims we prejudiced. We hope we will be forgiven.”
Makaruse said they were no longer feeling comfortable roaming freely around the streets especially in Mutare. Everyone identifies them with their dark past.
“It’s not easy even boarding a kombi into town. We are labelled criminals. We don’t have anything against the police but people can’t forgive us,” the seemingly dejected Makaruse said.
The young lads are now being “helped” at a Madzibaba Apostolic sect in Dangamvura.
Source: Manica Post