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Mum breaks down as son killer walks free

by Staff reporter
22 Aug 2017 at 06:59hrs | Views
A PLUMTREE woman broke down and wept in court after a man who ran over and killed her four-year-old son in a car accident last year walked out a free man.

The State withdrew culpable homicide charges against Reward Katomha (44) of Plumtree saying there was no incriminating evidence against him.

Ms Immaculate Ngwenya could not hide her emotions and wept in court.

"All I know is that I want my child back," is what Ms Ngwenya who could hardly walk kept on saying as she left the court in tears.

On November 26 last year at around 1PM, Katomha ran over Loreal Wandile Sibanda who was an ECD pupil at Alan Redfern Primary School and the boy died a few hours later while admitted at the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

The four-year-old was hit by Katomha's car as he was crossing the road while his mother was waiting for him at their gate and the vehicle dragged him for about 15 metres.

The boy had just been dropped off by his uncle and aunt who had parked their car across the road opposite his home.

He was rushed to the UBH where he died on the same night. In his defence, Katomha said he did not see the boy as there was a vehicle blocking his view.

"I was driving due north at a reasonable speed and along the way there was a huge vehicle that was blocking the road which was parked partly on the road also facing the north. As a result I had to indicate to the right and I encroached into the lane of oncoming vehicles so as to pass the parked vehicle.

"I didn't see anyone on the road but I heard people screaming and telling me to stop. That is when I realised that I had run over the child. The child just emerged from the front of the parked vehicle as I was passing by it and I didn't see him as the vehicle was blocking my view," he said.

Plumtree magistrate, Mr Joshua Mawere, who presided over the matter, said the evidence which had been led by the State witnesses had failed to prove that Katomha had been negligent.

He said the evaluating officer who attended the scene had indicated that Katomha had been driving at a reasonable speed and could not have avoided hitting the boy as he suddenly emerged in front of a vehicle that was blocking the road.

"The first and second witnesses who were travelling with the deceased have indicated that they parked a vehicle partly on the road and the boy disembarked from the car to get across the road. Katomha was approaching from behind that vehicle and it was blocking his way.

"As a result he had to swerve to the right and at the same time the boy just emerged from the front of the parked vehicle. The evaluating officer stated that Katomha was driving at a reasonable speed and given the circumstances that a huge vehicle was blocking him it was going to be difficult for him to see the boy on time," he said.

Mr Mawere said the allegations against Katomha had been dropped after plea as the court had failed to find incriminating evidence against him.

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Source - chronicle
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