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    Sunday, 19 February 2017

    Gweru killer’s taxi driver jailed 15 years



    ELIZABETH MASHIRI
    MIDLANDS BUREAU

    GWERU – A taxi driver who went on a drinking binge with a client who had hired him to Ascot Suburb in Gweru where the later petrol-bombed his girlfriend and a relative to death in November last year was slapped with a 15-year jail term by High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Manthonsi.
    Sitting at the Gweru Circuit Court on Thursday last week, Justice Mathonsi said although Itai Manyoka was not directly involved in the murder, he should not have gone on a drinking spree and drove around with a client he had seen committing such a heinous act.
    Justice Manthonsi described Manyoka as an accomplice in the murder.
    Garikai Zvawanda petrol-bombed his ex-girlfriend Nancy Sibanda whom he suspected of having another relationship and her niece Cynthia Hlabangana and the two died a few days later in hospital.
    He said it should have been better still Manyoka should have stopped moving around with the murderer or handed him over to the Police. The Judge however, also noted that Manyoka did not know Zvawanda before this day but was hired and got carried away because of the money that his client was splashing on him.
    It was the State case that on December 2, 2016 at around midnight Manyoka was hired by Zvawanda, the two went to a service station, where Zvawanda bought nine litres of petrol. They proceeded to House Number 343 Fusire Road, Old Ascot, Gweru where Tabarinda broke the window of the room in which the now-deceased persons were sleeping.
    He poured the petrol into the room before setting it on fire and rushed back to the taxi as the women cried out for help. Manyoka drove off and they went drinking as they waited to see what happens next.
    They later saw a firebrigade vehicle and an ambulance taking the injured women to Gweru General Hospital and they followed it as they enjoyed their beer. At the hospital Zvawada tried to enter into the ward where the victims had been admitted but was spotted by relatives who suspected that he was the culprit and they went for him.
    He ran back to the taxi and commandeered the driver to drive off and Manyoka nearly crashed a guard who tried to block the car by closing the boom gate.
    Justice Manthonsi noted that Manyoka loved the beer that was being bought for him and condemned his continued association with a man who had committed such a crime.crime news
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