A 34-year-old man who shot and killed the Chiredzi Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) district head while trying to steal his vehicle has been sentenced to death.
Clemence Munyanyi was yesterday convicted at the High Court sitting in circuit court in Masvingo of murder with actual intent.
Munyanyi of Ingwani village in Sengwe communal lands was found guilty of shooting and killing Regis Dongonda who was in his vehicle outside Chishamiso beerhall in Chiredzi three years ago.
He was jointly charged with Subisiso Dube (31) of Nketa 6 in Bulawayo. Dube was, however, acquitted due to lack of incriminating evidence. Justice Samuel Kudya yesterday also slapped Munyanyi with a 14-year-jail term for shooting and seriously injuring Dongonda’s workmate Rudo Mavimbo.
Munyanyi was represented by Mr Charles Ndlovu of Ndlovu andHwacha Legal Practitioners. He will, however, serve an effective seven years in jail for attempted murder and attempted robbery after Justice Kudya ordered him to serve his sentences for attempted murder and attempted robbery concurrently.
Justice Kudya was sitting with assessors Mr Samuel Mutomba and Mr Eliphas Gweru. Dube was acquitted after he successfully proved to the court that he was in South Africa when Dongonda was killed.
In sentencing Munyanyi, Justice Kudya ruled that there were no extenuating circumstances in the case since the latter killed Dongonda with the intention of stealing his vehicle. Munyanyi has an automatic right to appeal to the Supreme Court against his sentence before he could be hanged.
He might also benefit from Presidential clemency. Justice Kudya, however, threw out the evidence of the key State Witness, Mavimbo saying she had not managed to successfully pinpoint Munyanyi as the one responsible for killing Dongonda.
Justice Kudya also threw out evidence from Munyanyi’s warned and cautioned statement after ruling that it was signed under duress while Munyanyi was also under illegal detention by the police in 2009.
He, however, ruled that video evidence produced by the State in court, with Munyanyi making indications on the directions he took on his way to Chishamiso beerhall was admissible and showed that Munyanyi was responsible for the ex-Chiredzi CIO boss’ murder.
In his defence, Munyanyi through his lawyer Mr Ndlovu argued that Mavimbo’s evidence was not reliable as she was drunk at the material time. He also argued that Mavimbo could not have positively identified their assailants since it was dark.
On 18 June, 2009, Dongonda and Mavimbo were drinking beer while seated in their Ford Ranger vehicle outside Chishamiso Bar at Hippo Valley estates. They were approached by Munyanyi who emerged from a dark corner and confronted them while armed with a Norinco 9mm pistol.
Munyanyi ordered Dongonda and Mavimbo out of the car and to lie at the back on their stomachs to which they complied. Munyanyi jumped into the driver’s seat and tried to start the vehicle three times but failed. Mavimbo pleaded with him to take the vehicle and spare their lives.
Munyanyi fired shots from his pistol randomly hitting Dongonda on the left cheek while Mavimbo was hit on the arm.
Munyanyi then left the Ford Ranger vehicle and fled into the dark. Dongonda was rushed to Chiredzi district hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. Mr Elson Chavarika appeared for the State. The Herald
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