Trio to hang for gruesome murders
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The other two cases were for Justine Chatimba of Gokwe District who murdered and raped a woman and her 11-year-old daughter, and of a Zvishavane father who threw his severely physically challenged three-year-old son into a cave before crushing him with stones.
Upholding the death sentences passed on Champaigne Professor Moyo, Chatimba and Absolom Ncube, Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba with Justice Anne-Marie Gowora and acting Judge of Appeal, Justice Meshack Cheda agreeing said the appeals were devoid of merit.
They found that there was no misdirection on the part of the trial courts in finding that there were no extenuating circumstances in their cases. Moyo was aged 25 when he committed the offences while his victims were aged seven, 10 and 53.
On 5 April 2005, Moyo raided Phineas Ncube's homestead with the intention of stealing money which Ncube had received from his son.
He â€œcaptured" Mr Mgcinokuhle Ncube, Ncube's nephew, and held him hostage and tied up him with his waist belt.
Moyo took an electric cord, made a noose and put it around Ncube's neck and threw the cord over a roof truss and pulled the cord causing him to hang until he died.
He took another cord and tied it around Ncube's seven-year-old son and hanged him again before turning to his 10-year-old niece whom he hanged until she lost consciousness.
Moyo went on to ransack the house and as he did this, Ncube's niece breathed heavily and showed signs of life.
Moyo went out into the sitting room from where he armed himself with a mattock which he used to strike her twice in the face killing her instantly.
He then hid the three bodies under a bed.
Moyo tried to steal Ncube's motor vehicle but it could not start and he left it and carried his loot that included Ncube's suits to his grandfather's homestead.
Before dawn, he had already started disposing of the stolen property as he had left a solar panel at another villager's homestead and promised he would come back to discuss the price.
His pro deo lawyer in the appeal, Ms Joylyn Gororo of Marondedze, Mukuku, Ndove and Partners told the court that she did not have any meaningful submissions to make as far as conviction and sentence were concerned.
DCJ Malaba commended her for having made that concession.
In view of the concession made by the defence counsel, Mr Thompson Hove, of the Attorney-General's Office prosecuting, had no submissions to make except that the trial court did not err in convicting Moyo based on circumstantial evidence.
Ncube, of Mbasera village in Zvishavane, was aged 29 when he murdered his son.
On 16 September 2004, the boy's mother left him in the custody of Ncube's mother. Ncube was away as he had gone to attend a church service.
On 18 September the same year, when he returned, he took the child after telling his mother that he wanted to seek assistance from the police to locate the boy's mother.
Later he came back and advised his mother that the child had died and that he had buried him in a cave at Fishu Mountain.
The body was later retrieved and buried without the police being informed. An informant informed the police of suspicions of criminal conduct and the police attended the scene leading to the exhumation of the child's body.
According to the post-mortem report, the cause of death was multiple skull fractures.
In his evidence in chief and defence outline, Ncube made a confession that he saw that his child was suffering and decided to end the suffering.
His pro deo lawyer at the appeal, Ms Cynthia Nunu, of Calderwood, Bryce Hendrie and Partners had argued that the death penalty was not warranted as there were a number of factors that could have persuaded the trial court to pass a less severe sentence.
Ms Angeline Munyeriwa, of the Attorney General's Office opposed the appeal, arguing that there were no extenuating circumstances in the case and that the court had correctly sentenced Ncube to death.
Chatimba, of Damanikwa Village, Chief Nemangwe, Gokwe, was aged 25 at the time of the commission of the offence.
On 29 January 2007, at about 1 am, Chatimba went to Tracy Ngwato's homestead and knocked on her bedroom door.He lured her outside and tripped her to the ground before raping her.
Thereafter, he stabbed her several times all over the body.
Her three children were awakened by her screams and fled in different directions from the homestead.
Chatimba chased after the children and managed to catch up with an 11-year-old daughter whom he raped and also stabbed several times all over the body with a knife.
He carried the injured the child into her mother's kitchen where she was discovered still alive but died before arrangements to take her to hospital could be made.
In his confirmed warned and cautioned statements, Chatimba said he killed Ngwato because she had caused him to fall in love with a girl she knew was HIV positive.
He told the police that they were intimate and that when he went for tests he also tested positive.
His pro deo lawyer, Mr Farai Museta, of Danziger and Partners stated that he did not have any meaningful submissions to make prompting Mr Whisper Mabaudhi, of the Attorney General's Office to stand by his heads of argument that the trial court did not err.
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