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Hot on the heels

Tanzikwa Goto

– A man from Mwenezi who killed a baby he sired with a wife of a relative in an adulterous affair drew the sympathy of the court when he went down on his knees in the dock and cried and prayed for mercy from God of Paul Mwazha.
Phillip Tsumele (36) of Chauke Village under Chief Chilonga came into the court shaking and praying on Wednesday last week pleading with God who sent Paul Mwazha of Africa to forgive him for the sin he commited.
Tsumelo who was appearing before Justice Bere on a High Court circuit in Masvingo exploded into sobs when he entered into the witness stand and brought the proceedings to a standstill. He cried and prayed for about five minutes and Justice Bere seemed to have got patient with him until he finished his prayers.
"I am asking for the Court and God who sent Paul Mwazha of Africa to have mercy on me. I have sinned against people and God so they have to forgive me. The crime was committed before I was converted to Apostolic church of Paul Mwazha who was sent by God to save people," sobbed Tshumele.
Justice Bere slapped Tsumele with 30 years in prison for the murder. His prayers must have worked as Justice Bere in delivering his judgment said he took into consideration the fact that Tsumele had shown remorse and that he was a first offender who did not waste the court's time.
Delivering judgement, Justice Bere and his assessors Joseph Mushuku and Samuel Mutomba sentenced Tsumele to effective 30 years in prison for murder with actual intent.
Tatenda Chikwati prosecuted.
The court heard that Tsumele had an affair with one of his uncle's 15 wives Matsivei Moyo having taken advantage of the long absence of the uncle.
Tsumele was staying with Moyo as he looked for a job.
Moyo later fell pregnant and gave birth to a baby and when that happened she followed Tsumele to a place where he was now working. However, Tsumelo could not stand the reaction that would come from his uncle and he took the baby and went and strangled it without telling Moyo.
His polygamous uncle, Ananias Zindari (83) lived at a distance village with his other wives.
The incident happened on December 27, 2011 in Chauke Village under Chief Chilonga in Chikombedzi.
Upon returning to the village, villagers quickly noticed that Moyo was neither pregnant or had a child.
Village head Benjamin Chauke reported to the police which then led to the arrest of

Tracy Mazhindu

– Residents of Mucheke suburb in Masvingo woke up to a tragic Sunday morning last week when Claudius Madzvova, (22) an unlicensed commuter vehicle driver allegedly  crashed and killed an 18-month-old baby as he tried to reverse his car from his homestead.
Scores of people immediately gathered at the homestead as women including the mother, Nommater Ncube wailed on realising that the baby, Latifa Chinhamo who was walking behind the car just after sharing a water melon with the driver who lives next door had been crashed.
Madzvova who sensed danger after the accident, is said to have stayed still in the car for about three minutes not sure of what to do next. He then bolted out of the car and ran away.
Residents said Madzvova use the car, a Toyota Raum to pirate despite that he was not licensed. Police Spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nkululeko Nduna confirmed the accident and also confirmed that Madzova did not have a driver's licence.
The Mirror crew which arrived at the scene before the Police found the body of the baby covered in a blanket as neighbours milled around. Part of the child's brain tissue was hanging from a fence a metre away.
Residents complained against the driver's alleged reckless driving. They claimed that Madzvova would speed his car through the narrow streets of the heavily populated residential area. One woman who declined to be named said she at one time warned Madzvova after he nearly bumped into one of her children. Others said that that he was at some stage beaten up by residents for his speeding antics.
On the day in question, Madzvova whose wife is said to be very close to the mother of the late baby actually shared a water melon with the baby at the front of the house where he stays. The baby who was then just learning to walk, started walking back to her house which is almost attached to Madzova's place.
Without noticing that the baby was walking behind the car, Madzvova went into his car and got a few photos of him taken by a friend. He started the car without realising that the baby was behind it. He reversed the car and allegedly hit the baby and crashed her head with both the back and then the front tyre.
Sources said he continued to reverse without realising that what he had hit was a child. He was shocked after reversing further to see the baby lying with her head crashed about five metres in front of him.
"Everyone almost noticed it at once, including the mother of the baby who was standing in front of the yard that the baby had been crashed. Madzvova remained motionless in the car, completely confused. However, after a while he bolted out of the car and ran away," said a source who was at the scene of the accident.
Sources also said that the baby was crashed a few minutes after the mother had bathed

Chipo Mashavira
Chiredzi Bureau

– A Chiredzi woman who cheated with her husband's young brother while the hubby was away in the Diaspora has appeared in court after killing her baby to conceal the relationship.
Josephine Tambudzai (27) of Village L46 in Triangle appeared before Magistrate Geraldine Mutsoto on Tuesday facing infanticide charge. Appearing for the State Doubt Phiri told the court that on June 2, 2015 at around 11pm Tambudzai gave birth to a baby girl and after four hours she wrapped the baby with blankets.
The State said Tambudzai walked 200m away from her homestead to the river where she buried the baby alive in the sand.
Neighbours who knew that Tambudzai was pregnant made a Police report that led to her arrest. She confessed burying the baby alive and led the Police to the river where the baby was found dead.
Tambudzai told the Court during cross examination that her husband was in South Africa and during her absence she had a sexual affair with the brother which resulted in the baby. She said she committed the crime because she had no support for the baby since her husband`s young brother later died.
"I was also afraid of getting a divorced by my hubby since I got pregnant while he was in South Africa. I knew that the baby was not his child, so I wanted to save my marriage," pleaded Tambudzai.
Magistrate Mutsoto sentenced Tambudzai to 24 months in prison of and suspended 15 months for five years on condition of good behavior. She will effectively serve 9 months in

  • Callously killed elderly couple for $5 000 relocation fees

Tanzikwa Goto

MASVINGO – A callous murderer from Chivi who cut open an elderly man (83)'s  stomach and frog-marched him with  intestines dangling out to a place where he had hidden  his $5 000 received as compensation for relocation from Tokwe-Mukosi was sentenced to death by High Court Judge Justice Francis Bere.
Justice Bere who was sitting on a High Court Circuit in Masvingo last Saturday  sentenced Tapiwa Chikanga (32) of Gwamure Village under Chief Gororo in Chivi to a further 20 years in jail on two other charges of robbery and attempted robbery committed on the same night.
Chikanga killed Charamba Mapfumo at Gwamure Village on October 4, 2013 after Mapfumo together with other villagers received compensation from Government for being displaced from the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam area.
Villagers in the area including Chikanga received their relocation fees but on the same night, Chikanga and an  accomplice who was not identfied in court went out to rob other villagers.
Chikanga and the accomplice robbed Marufu after their attempt on another family in the same village yielded nothing.
The pair who was wearing  masks stormed the hut in which Marufu and his wife Jostina were sleeping. One of them shoved Jostina to the floor and stabbed her with a knife below the breast, on the back of the left shoulder and once in the right palm.
Chikanga then struck the deceased once on the head with a knife causing  a deep cut that led to profuse bleeding. The pair then demanded money from the couple.
Before they could be given the money, one of the robbers used a knife and ripped open Mapfumo's abdomen. They then led the deceased and his wife to the catte pen where the two had dug out a hole and hid their $5 000 compansation money in a small container.
They did so as Mapfumo's intestines dangled out from the ripped abdomen.
The pair took away the money and vanished into darkness leaving the couple writhing in pain.
People from the neighbourhood who had been attracted by the melee gathered at the scene but Chikanga and his accomplice had already fled. They couple was rushed to Chivi Rural Hospital where they were both admitted. Mapfumo's condition deteriorated the next day leading to his death.Post morterm results showed that he died of penetrating abdominal trauma.
Chikanga was found with $3 940 from the loot.
Earlier on the two had attempted to rob Ruramai Gwamure of the same village of her relocation fees.
It is the State case that on October 4, 2013 Chikanga and the  accomplice went to Gwamure's homestead and found her daughter, Tracy Chikosi alone and asleep in the hut as Gwamure had not returned from Masvingo City where she and others including the accused had gone to collect their relocation allowances.
The intruders forced the door open using the head of a pick and Tracy woke up from her sleep to see an intruder who shone a light at her. The intruder was holding a knife in one hand and a pick head in another.
They demanded cash from the girl and asked Gwamure's whereabouts to which the girl responded that her mother had not yet returned from the City. The intruder then attacked Tracy with a pick head several times on her right hip before leaving the room.
Tracy managed to identify Chikanga during the incident but despite that the pair proceeded to Mapfumo's homestead.
Chikanga pleaded guilty to count one and two of attempted robbery and robbery respectively but implicated his yet to be arrested collaborator on the third count of murder.
Justice Bere convicted Chikanga due to a credible account given by Constable Shadreck Ngulube of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) who was shown the indications by the accused as they were carrying out the investigations.
Justice Bere said that the accused had deprived the deceased of an opportunity to be part of the larger community and he therefore deserved a severe punishment. He also said that the accused had violated peace and tranquillity in the society. The Judge said the younger generation is expected to safeguard the elderly in the society but the accused had gone against that.
Citing the aggravating circumstances in which the crime was committed, State Counsel led by Ellison Chavarika suggested death sentence on the third count of murder with constructive intent.
Alhough Chikanga tried to implicate his accomplice, Justice Bere convicted him of murder considering that they took with them weapons after discussing that they were going to carry out their

•    Suspect caught red-handed by the mother

Tawanda Homba

– It was a blessing in disguise that a Chiredzi woman forgot a towel on her way to the well as she, on coming back allegedly discovered that her two-year-and-three-months old baby had just been raped by her step-father in whose custody she had been left.
The baby was crying uncontrollably with her hands on her private parts and when the accused John Chisasa (33) was asked about the baby he allegedly said he didn't know what had happened to her.
However, the mother checked the complainant and noticed that she had some sperms on the thighs and her vagina.
Chisasa who resides at Village 3B Ruware in Chiredzi appeared before Regional Magistrate Collet Ncube facing a rape charge.
It is a State case that on November 1, 2014 Joyce Maredza left the complainant with the accused as she proceeded to fetch some water. 
After walking for a while, Maredza noticed that she had forgotten a towel so she turned back and found the complainant crying.  
On November 7, 2014 Maredza realised that the complainant's vagina was producing a bad smell and took her to Chiredzi General Hospital for medication.
At the hospital the complainant's mother was informed that the girl was raped and there was need for a Police report. Maredza then reported the matter to Mkwasine ZRP. The child was examined by a medical doctor and a medical report was produced in court as an exhibit.
The State was represented by Sophia Bhusvumani.  The case will continue on July 1,

Mirror Reporter

Chiredzi – Patrick Chitongo (36), a freelance journalist based in Chiredzi who on two different occasions defied the Zimbabwe Media Commission's advice not to publish a newspaper without registration has been jailed for one year by a Chiredzi magistrate.
Chitongo who is a regular at the courts after appearing on different criminal cases will spend the next 8 months in prison after Magistrate Tafadzwa Mhlanga suspended four months of the sentence on condition he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
Chitongo who only last year was convicted of committing another media related crime when he defrauded a National Railways of Zimbabwe Club of $170 this time published three issues of an unregistered newspaper called The Southern Mirror.
The Zimbabwe Media Commission advised Chitongo to stop publishing the newspaper after coming across his first issue which was being sold in the streets.Despite having been offered a chance to come and regularise his newspaper by registering it, Chitongo defied the Commission and continued to publish the paper that was printed on bond paper.
Faced with an adamant and arrogant person, the Commission then reported him to the Police.
He was jointly charged with Tafadzwa Mhlanga, Givemore Kudzwida, Courage Bandera and Dadirai Masokweni.
They faced a charge of Contravening the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
The State led by Chiedza Muhwandavaka told the court that sometime last year, the four collaborated and published a weekly newspaper, The Southern Mirror for the purpose of selling it. She said they did this without registering the newspaper with the Zimbabwe Media Commission as required by the law. 
The four who were represented by Martin Mureri of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights pleaded not guilty to the charge. They argued that the paper was a dummy which was to be presented to ZMC for registration purposes.
The State led evidence through Detective Sergeant Mureriwa from CID Chiredzi, Chiredzi District Information Officer Itai Dhliwayo and ZMC Chief Executive Officer Dr Tafataona Mahoso who all told the court that the paper circulated in the streets without being registered.
Dr Mahoso told the court that all publishers should register their publications with the Commission before publishing. He said a paper printed as a dummy should not find its way to the public.
Mureri applied for discharge of his client after the State finished presenting its case and this was dismissed by Magistrate Mhlanga.
Magistrate Mhlanga acquitted Kudzwida, Bandera and Masokweni saying the three were students who did not play any role in the publication of the newspaper. He said Chitongo misled the three.
Mureri pleaded for a non-custodial sentence for his client and pleaded that he was a family man and a breadwinner. He asked for a a fine or community service.
Magistrate Mhlanga however said Chitongo subjected society to information coming from an unregistered newspaper and such conduct was not condoned by the court. He said Chitongo knew that he was committing an offence and the crime was therefore premeditated.
He also ruled out community service saying Chitongo was of no fixed abode and said a minimal sentence will serve as a clear message to all those who read the newspaper in the streets.
Chitongo is not new to the courts, in May 2014 he was convicted by Magistrate Geraldine Mutsoto of defrauding the National Railways of Zimbabwe  Club of $170 after he lied that he worked for The Mirror and was going to place a liquor licence application advert in that newspaper for them.
He then produced a fake advert which he claimed had appeared in the newspaper.
The Mirror was called in as witnesses and Chitongo received a five months prison term suspended for five

Morris Bishi
Chiredzi Bureau

Chiredzi – The District Education Officer in Chiredzi has a report that one of the female teachers at Mufakose Secondary School in Triangle has been torturing an orphan she stays with by placing a hot electric iron on her cheek and buttocks.
The form 2 child whose name cannot be disclosed has already been withdrawn from the custody of the teacher by Childline.
District Education Officer Asaniel Chauke confirmed the report and said the girl has since been taken to Chambuta Children's Home. He however, said he still needed to look into the report before he could give more details.
The abuse was discovered by some teachers at the school after they noticed burns on the girl's cheek. Further interrogation showed that there were more ghastly injuries under her clothes including her buttocks and the girl disclosed that she was burnt with an electric iron by her teacher who is also her guardian, said a source who spoke to The Mirror on condition of anonymity.
The girl is related to the teacher's husband and the hubby is reportedly a senior manager with  a large sugarcane company in Chiredzi.
Late news reaching The Mirror on Wednesday indicated that the hubby fell ill after discovering the scam to the extent that he has been admitted in hospital.
The teacher who teaches Shona in the school has since taken sick leave. She confirmed to The Mirror that she was on sick but pleaded with the reporter not to write the story. She also said she was receiving counseling over the matter and publicity of the story would shatter her.
"I am not feeling well, please just get into my shoes and see how damaging the story will be if you publish it. I am undergoing counseling lessons somewhere so that I can get over this matter," she said.
She also demanded to know the names of the persons who disclosed the story to The Mirror.
Mufakose school head …….Pfumojena said she made report to the district education officer and referred The Mirror there for information.
"We are dealing with a serious case in which one of our students was burnt with an electric iron and the issue only came to light when one of the teachers brought the child with a visibly burnt cheek but after further internal probe at the school it was noticed that there were worse injuries on her covered body parts including the buttocks," said a source.
The community expressed anger at the Police and accused the force for taking their time to arrest the