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Court frees murder suspect after police boob

by Staff reporter
14 Dec 2023 at 03:54hrs | Views
THE High Court has acquitted a murder suspect after the police submitted inconsistent evidence during trial.

Tafadzwa Mudavanhu, who was represented by Freddy Masarirevhu, was being accused of killing Spinora Kamungeremu in Budiriro, Harare, three years ago.

However, High Court judge Justice Rodgers Manyangadze acquitted Mudavanhu at the close of State's case saying the case against him was too weak for a reasonable court to convict.

According to court papers, on October 19, 2020 at a shopping centre in Budiriro, Mudavanhu killed Kamungeremu after striking him once on the head with a brick.

It was alleged that Kamungeremu was at Current shopping centre, Budiriro 5B, in the company of his two friends, Elia Svova and Jephart Chizura.

The trio was in Chizura's vehicle which was parked at the shopping centre when Kamungeremu left the vehicle for a nearby supermarket.

It was also alleged that when he was away, a lorry which was being driven by Darlington Bvindi, rammed into Chizura's vehicle, leading to a confrontation.

Bvindi reportedly appeared to be drunk, court papers show.

An argument ensued between Chizura and Bvindi over the latter's alleged drunken driving.

Bvindi reportedly attempted to flee and Kamungeremu tried to block him. Mudavanhu was accused of having struck the deceased once on the head with a brick.

Kamungeremu fell down and lost consciousness before he was ferried to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, where he died on November 3, 2020.

To substantiate these allegations, evidence was led from Svova, Chizura, Addmore Musiza, Decent Shuche and Bernard Kaiche. Musiza and Kaiche gave evidence as policemen.

Svova said after the altercation, Mudavanhu led a mob and was later accused of attacking Kamungeremu.

Chizura, however, said the name given as that of the assailant was Chamunorwa Bvumba, who reportedly hit the deceased with a beer bottle on the head.

Police officers also said it was Bvumba who assaulted the deceased.

Justice Manyangadze ruled that there were serious and unresolved contradictions in the key witnesses' statements.

"This left the investigation officer, and even the officer-in-charge, in grave doubt as to whether it was the accused or Bvumba who assaulted the deceased. What this means is that they submitted a docket for prosecution which they did not have confidence in," the High Court judge said.

"The prosecution had no easy task adducing evidence from the various witnesses it called. They simply could not explain the shift from Chamunorwa Bvumba to the accused as the suspect in this matter.

"The evidence became so manifestly unreliable that the only reason for putting the accused to his defence is to get him convicted through self- incrimination."

Justice Manyangadze also noted that the case had an unusual number of police witnesses.

"Of the five witnesses who took the witness stand, three were police officers involved in the investigation of the case in one way or the other.

"As already indicated, all the officers were puzzled as to why their supposedly key witnesses, being the two civilian witnesses, ended up saying it was the accused who assaulted the deceased with a brick, when initially they had said it was Chamunorwa Bvumba who assaulted the deceased with a beer bottle on the head," he stated.

Bvumba's whereabouts, up to the time of the trial, remained unknown.

Justice Manyangadze also ruled that Bvumba was never arrested because he managed to escape soon after committing the offence.

"He is, in fact, the instigator of the commotion that led to the deceased's tragic demise. The accused never ran away. He became the target for arrest and prosecution," the judge ruled.

Source - newsday
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