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Stockthief produces 'juju' in court

by Staff reporter
19 Mar 2018 at 06:03hrs | Views
COURT proceedings came to a halt last week when a Chipinge man who was about to be sentenced for stocktheft tried to intimidate the magistrate by producing juju in court.

Chipinge magistrate Mr Farai Gwatima was not amused by Taurai Sithole's antics and ordered prison officers to destroy the juju.

"With or without juju, you will go to jail," he said. "I have dealt with many cases of this nature. The position of the law is clear, anyone convicted of stocktheft should be sentenced to a period not less than nine years unless there are special circumstances. In your case, there are no special circumstances."

Sithole was found guilty of stealing 11 cattle from his neighbour.

It is the State's case that on December 24, 2017, at around 7am, Sithole (29) came across 11 beasts which belonged to John Mapiza unattended in the grazing area.

He took them to his homestead where he went on to sell some of the cattle.

Mapiza received a tip-off on January 12 that his beasts had been seen at Sithole's homestead, leading to Sithole's arrest and recovery of the remaining beasts.

In court, Sithole denied stealing the beasts and tried to implicate an accomplice, Lameck Mahlale.

He was, however, convicted on overwhelming evidence against him from the people who had bought the beasts.

"Witnesses testified that they bought beasts from you and transactions were done during daylight, hence the issue of identification is ruled out," said Mr Gwatima. "Further, the beasts were sold at your homestead and the village head testified to that effect."

Sithole was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years were suspended on condition of good behaviour and a further one year was suspended on condition that he repays Mapiza $600 by March 28.

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old man from Buhera has been slapped with a four-year prison term for breaking into a house while undresse and trying to rape the occupant.

Brian Muchabaya of Nemupanda village, under Chief Chamutsa, pleaded guilty to attempted rape charges when he appeared before Mr Gwitima last week.

Prosecuting, Mr Givemore Nyamayaro said on March 7, 2018, at around 2am, Muchabaya opened the complainant's window, which had no lever and removed his clothes before entering the bedroom stark naked.

"He approached the complainant who was asleep and started caressing her legs, and tried to have sexual intercourse with her without her consent. The complainant woke up and shouted for help," he said.

Muchabaya managed to escape, leaving his clothes outside, before neighbours arrived to offer assistance and a police report was made, before he was arrested in Bikita.

Mr Gwitima suspended one year from Muchabaya's sentence on condition of good behaviour.
Source - zimpapers

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