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Man Sentenced To 12 Years In Jail For 2009 Murder

A MAN from Hwange who fatally struck his neighbour with an iron bar 10 years ago during New Year celebrations following a dispute over a missing identity card, has been sentenced to an effective 12 years in jail.

Worried Ncube (33) fatally attacked Mr Godfrey Tshuma (28) of Tshingababili in Plumtree in January 2009 after he was accused of stealing an identity card belonging to the deceased.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva convicted Ncube of murder with constructive intent.

In passing the sentence, Justice Takuva took into consideration the delay by the State in bringing Ncube to trial and other mitigatory factors.

“There was an inordinate delay of almost 10 years, which the State failed to explain and that in itself is a mitigatory factor. 

“The picking of the iron bar by the accused person was by chance and it was not premeditated and the court also noted that the accused was provoked by the deceased’s conduct which shows that he was drunk,” said the judge.

Justice Takuva however, condemned Ncube’s conduct, saying the courts have a duty to protect the sanctity of human life.

“In aggravation, we note that a life was unnecessarily lost and the courts have a duty to protect the sanctity of human life. 

“An appropriate sentence should strike a balance between the interests of justice and of society. 

“In casu, there were strong mitigatory factors that warrant lenience and accordingly, you are sentenced to 12 years in jail,” ruled the judge.

Prosecuting, Mr Trust Muduma said in January 2009 at around 7PM, Mr Tshuma went to Mr Moses Basuthu’s homestead at Thornwood West in Colleen Bawn for New Year celebrations.More on ZOOMZimbabwe…  Trial resumes for Chinese nationals arrested over 20kg ivory

An hour later, Ncube and his cousins proceeded to the same homestead where they met the deceased.

“The accused person later left the homestead leaving the deceased and others at the celebration party. 

“Hours later, the host of the party ran out of fuel to run his generator and he switched off the radio prompting the revellers to leave the place,” said Mr Muduma.

Mr Tshuma and his friends went to neighbouring Chinden Compound where they intended to continue with their New Year celebrations.

“On arrival at Chinden Compound, Mr Tshuma noticed that his identity card was missing from his pocket. 

“He returned to Mr Basuthu’s homestead to look for it and failed to find it,” said Mr Muduma.

Mr Tshuma went to the accused person’s homestead and confronted him over his missing identity card. 

Ncube denied stealing the identity card and an altercation ensued between the two men.

The accused person picked up an iron bar and struck Mr Tshuma once on the forehead and he fell down and died on the spot.

A report was made to the police leading to Ncube’s arrest.

Ncube, through his lawyer, Mr Abednico Ndebele of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers, said he acted in self defence after he was provoked by the deceased.

He told the court that Mr Tshuma stormed his bedroom while he was sleeping and attacked him. — Chronicle

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