He is the son of Phillip Zhantali, who passed away in 1998, and Margaret Muwangu, who resides in Glendale.
He did his primary education at Dandamera Primary School in Concession. He did his secondary education at the Anglican Church-run St Albans Secondary school beginning in 2007.
Zhantali attained eight As and one B at Ordinary Level, and his results were said to have been the best at his school.
Benhilda said Bright could not proceed to Advanced Level, as the family did not have the money to finance his education. She said:
I think this is when his strange behaviour started. He would leave home and be away for months, only to come back for a couple of days and go back again. He would leave without notice. He was arrested multiple times for theft. He was in and out of jail for theft, but back then, we never heard of any murder cases against him.
When Zhantali married, he lived in Mabvuku with his wife, Silent, and the couple had one child, a boy.
According to Benhilda, Silent regularly complained that he was hardly at home as he would leave her and go away for months.
Silent said Zhantali was very loving when they were first married but became a violent monster after she got pregnant and she subsequently suffered physical and emotional abuse at his hands.
His childhood friend Alvin Chibaya said he was an easy-going character, but had a short temper and was easily agitated and a bully at primary school as he was slightly older than the rest of the pupils.
Zhantali was for some time involved in gold panning. In 2017 he reportedly told Chibaya that "anything happens when you are into gold panning …"
Arrest in 2012
He was arrested in 2012 for housebreaking and theft and was sentenced to 7 years in prison but he only served five years and escaped. He allegedly broke into his uncle's house in Westview, Glendale and stole groceries.
Murder Of Fishmonger
In July 2021, Zhantali, who was 29 years old at the time, was arrested in connection with the murder of Nester "Kedha" Chiikwengo aged 45 who was self-employed as a fishmonger and intended to buy fish for resale.
On 21 June 2021, Zhantali allegedly robbed Chiikwengo of US$30 and her cell phone, raped, and killed her after he had lured her near Lake Chivero on the pretext that he was selling fish.
He was wearing a shirt similar to the ones worn by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers when he committed the crime.
Zhantali was apprehended by members of the public and handed over to the police after he returned to the same place where he had lured Chiikwengo and attempted to lure another woman saying he had some fish in White House.
He appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi, who referred him to the High Court for bail considerations. Zhantali was subsequently granted bail by the High Court.
He reportedly processed his own bail application of ZWL$15 000 and was released in October 2021.
Rape and Murder Spree
He is alleged to have murdered at least 23 women in different parts of the country and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said he even suggested the victims could be more.
Police said the seven of the murders were committed between January and March 2022.
Arrest in March 2022
Zhantali was arrested by the police on 19 March 2022 in Goromonzi. Zhantali was arrested at around 9PM, police said with the help of mobile phone data from Econet and NetOne. The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said in a statement:
Police arrested Bright Zhantali (30) on 19th March 2022 in Goromonzi, for nine (9) counts of murder and rape cases which occurred during the period 14th January 2022 to 12th March 2022, in Hwedza, Goromonzi, Marondera, and Macheke. All the victims were women.
According to a police memorandum dated 19 March 2022 seven of Zhantali's victims are: Mercy Simairi (28) of Progress Farm, Marondera, Chipo Gwese (40) of Ndudzo Village Chief Svosve, Hwedza, Betty Mlambo (43) of Dombotombo, Marondera, Nelia Maringe (44) of Grasslands Farm, Marondera, Meggie Kaomba (61) of Cherutombo, Marondera, Patricia Tsoka (49) of Chawatama Hardware industrial site, Marondera, and an Unknown Female adult with an estimated age of around 35-40 years.
On 15 January 2022 at around 1400 hours, the accused person met the now Deceased 1, Mercy Simairi at Dejagger Bus Stop who was on her way to Roughlands Farm to look for mushroom and offered to accompany her. On arrival at Roughlands Farm, the accused person tripped down the now deceased, raped her once without protection. Using his hands, the accused choked the now deceased on the throat leading to her going unconscious. The accused person then used a stone to hit the now deceased 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 went away with the now deceased’s Tecno cellphone with an Econet line 0786042230 and a Samsung handset with NetOne line 0716978951 all valued at $150-00 and is yet to be recovered.
On 18 January 2022 at around 2300 hours the accused person hooked up with the now Deceased 2 Chipo Gwese [a lady of the night] at Tempest Bar, Hwedza Growth Point and agreed to go home together and have sexual intercourse.
On arrival at the now deceased’s place at Ndudzo Village, Chief Svosve, Hwedza, the accused person and the now deceased had sexual intercourse. The accused spent the whole day in the now-deceased's room. He never came out of the room.
On 20 January 2022 at around 0200 hours, the accused person strangled the now deceased who was fast asleep using his hands. On realizing that she was dead, the accused went on to tie her hands from behind using shoelaces and covered the body with some clothes. The accused went away with the now deceased’s property which includes a maroon T-Shirt, an Itel handset with an Econet line 0771432826, a 3kg blue gas tank and USD$111 all valued at USD$150-00 and all is yet to be recovered.
On 22 January 2022 at around 2200 hours the accused person hooked up with the now Deceased 3 Betty Mlambo [a lady of the night] who was on the road just by the gate at Number 9, Chitumbwana, Dombotombo, Marondera and agreed to have sexual intercourse.
The now-deceased went into her room with the accused person where they had sexual intercourse.
On 23 January 2022 at around 0200 hours, after another round of sexual intercourse, the accused person strangled the now deceased who was fast asleep using his hands. On realizing that she was dead, the accused went on to tie her hands from behind using shoelaces and covered the body with some blankets before setting it ablaze. The body of the now deceased was burnt beyond recognition.
The accused went away with now deceased’s property which includes an Itel handset with an Econet line 0773857278 and USD$120 all valued at USD$130-00 and all is yet to be recovered.
On 7 February 2022 and at around 1500 hours, the accused person was seated at Grasslands Farm, a few meters from the Harare-Mutare Highway when he spotted the now Deceased 4 Nelia Maringe some 100 meters inside Grasslands farm reading her bible.
He then approached the now-deceased and proposed love to her. The now-deceased turned down the proposal which led to the accused person raping her once without protection.
The now-deceased had an axe as she had also gone to cut some firewood. The accused person used the axe to strike the now deceased once on the head leading to her death. The accused left a note on the deceased’s body secured by the now deceased’s bible before going away with a Huawei Cellphone with Econet line 0773003835 valued at $150 and is yet to be recovered.
On 11 March 2022 and at around 1400 hours the accused person was seated in a field at Hunyani Estates close to Golf Course, Marondera when he saw the now Deceased 5 Meggie Kaomba cutting firewood. He approached the now-deceased, grabbed her from behind and raped her once without protection. Using the now-deceased’s axe, the accused person struck the now-deceased twice on the head. On realizing she was dead, the accused person took the now-deceased’s axe and went away.
On 12 March 2022 at around 2200 hours, the accused person hooked up with the now Deceased 6 Patricia Tsoka [a lady of the night] who was Dombotombo Shops, Marondera and agreed to have sexual intercourse.
The accused person lied to the now deceased that he resided in Cherima, Marondera near Rakodzi High School and wanted them to go together to his place of residence.
On their way to the alleged residence, and at a swampy area between Cherima and yellow city, Marondera the accused person grabbed the now deceased from behind and raped her once without protection. He went on to strangle her using his hands. On realizing that she was dead, the accused took the body and threw it into the swamp and went away without taking anything.
On an unknown date but sometime in early February 2022, and at around 2100 hours, the accused person hooked up with the now Deceased 7 [a lady of the night] who was at Chikaidos Bar, Nyameni Shops, Marondera and agreed to have sexual intercourse.
The now-deceased told the accused that she was not comfortable going with him to her place in Nyameni where she resided with her younger sister who was at home at that time. As a result, the accused lied to the now deceased that he resided in Paradise Park, Marondera, and as such asked her to accompany him to his alleged residence in Paradise park.
While on their way to the alleged residence and along a footpath behind Cherutombo High School, the accused person grabbed the now-deceased from behind and raped her once without protection. He went on to strangle her using his hands. On realizing that she was dead, the accused took the body and threw it into a river some 20 metres away and went away with the now deceased’s unknown cellphone and a plastic bag with dagga which is yet to be recovered.
Zhantali appeared before Patience Chirimo at Marondera Magistrates’ Court on 21 March 2022 and was remanded in police custody to the next day as police investigations into other rape and murder cases continued.
He also appeared before Harare magistrate, Yeukai Dzuda on 14 April 2022, facing three fresh counts of murder. She remanded him in custody.
Case Number One
On 17 July 2020, Zhantali approached the late Priscilla Chidhakwa (24) and lured her with an offer to pay US$10 for the night.
The accused indicated that he wanted to go to his place of residence in Mabvuku, but took her to Donnybrook Racecourse where he raped her and later killed her.
After killing her, Zhantali threw the body of the deceased into a trench.
Case Number Three
On 7 December 2021, at around 1 pm, Zhantali was approached by the now-late Manyara Chisora (46) who was looking for a piece of land to rent. He allegedly showed her the land.
As they went to her house to sign the lease documents, he raped her before he struck her three times, using the back of an axe, leading to her death.
He fled the scene, stealing some groceries, a Huawei cellphone, blankets and some clothes.
At around 5 PM, Chisora's 15-year-old daughter returned home and found her mother dead in her bedroom.
Case Number Three
Zhantali raped and murdered Spiwe Nyamoto (50) and dumped her body in the Mabvuku Sewage ponds.
- Genius who turned suspected serial killer, Emmanuel Kafe, Published: 22 May 2022, Retrieved: 16 November 2022
- FISHMONGER MURDERER NABBED, Zvikomborero Parafini, Published: 12 July 2021, Retrieved: 16 November 2022
- Police arrest Marondera serial killer and rapist linked to at least 11 murders, Prince Machaya, Published: 20 March 2022, Retrieved: 16 November 2022
- Police Announce Arrest Of Serial Murder And Rape Suspect, Staff Reporter, Published: 21 March 2022, Retrieved: 16 November 2022
- ZRP arrests Bright Zhantali for 9 counts of murder and rape, Yeukai Mujuru, Published: 22 March 2022, Retrieved: 16 November 2022
- Serial killer, rapist was out on bail for murder, Crime Reporter, Published: 23 March 2022, Retrieved: 16 November 2022
- Fresh charges for serial killer, Zviko Parafini, Published: 15 April 2022, Retrieved: 16 November 2022