A High Court judge has sentenced two notorious robbers to death for robbing and fatally stabbing a senior army officer who had offered them a lift from Gutu in May last year.
Justice Garainesu Mawadze last Friday sentenced Admire Maorere (28) of Maorere Village under Chief Ndanga and Windas Munzweru (27) of Nematombo Village under Chief Chadyamatombo in Karoi to death by hanging after convicting them of murder with actual intent.
Maorere and Munzweru hid the army officer’s body in his vehicle’s loading box before dumping the car near Craft Centre along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway. The two, together with their alleged accomplice, Nyasha Sango, who is still at large, stabbed Captain Phio Jeketera (51) of Harare several times all over the body with an Okapi knife until he died.
Sentencing the duo, Justice Mawadze, who was sitting with assessors Messrs Samuel Mutomba and Joseph Mushuku said the callous murder was premeditated and they acted in common purpose to kill an innocent person who had genuinely offered them a lift.
The two, added Justice Mawadze, also showed that they were unrepentant criminals as they had previously served 24 months behind bars for armed robbery.
“In my eight years on the Bench I have not passed a death sentence on any offender and it has not been easy to pass an appropriate verdict on this matter,” said the High Court judge.
Justice Mawadze said in Section 47(2) of the Constitution, a law may permit the death penalty to be imposed only on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances.
The two men, represented prodeo by Mr Joseph Chipangula of Tshuma, Gurajena and Partners Legal Practitioners, pleaded with the court for leniency saying that they had young families who looked up to them for survival.
Prosecutor Mr Tawanda Chikwati said in May 2017 and along Roy-Gutu Road, the two accused, together with Sango, killed Captain Jeketera by stabbing him with a knife.
Jeketera was traveling from Harare to his rural home in Zaka when tragedy struck.
The convicts had asked Captain Jeketera to stop the car a few kilometres from Gutu-Roy turn-off under the pretext that one of them wanted to visit his aunt’s homestead nearby.
They dragged Captain Jeketera to the side of the road where they pepper-sprayed him before stabbing him all over the body with a knife until he became unconscious. They proceeded to take his G-Tel cellphone and cash amounting to $540 after which they put his body at the back of his vehicle.
The trio drove the car towards Masvingo City, where they dumped the vehicle containing Captain Jeketera’s body at the Craft Centre, about 1,4 kilometre from the city centre.
The following day, the court heard, the body of the deceased was discovered by police officers manning a road block.