By Mashudu Netsianda
Two siblings from the Midlands province, who ganged up and murdered a taxi driver in Bulawayo and a shop owner in Inyathi in Matabeleland North before stealing their property worth more than US$6 000, were yesterday sentenced to death by hanging.
Freddy Dube (36) of Toro Village in Lower Gweru and Thinkwell Moyo (38) of Silobela fatally axed Dumenkosini Sibanda (26), a Bulawayo pirate taxi driver on April 16, 2018 and robbed him of his car, a Honda Fit.
They later travelled to Inyathi where they fatally stabbed Andile Ncube (21), a flea market trader and robbed him of his merchandise which they loaded into the stolen car.
Dube and Moyo, born of the same mother but different fathers, were convicted of two counts of murder with actual intent by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo.
Justice Moyo ruled that the murder was committed in aggravating circumstances.
“It is clear that the accused persons acted with an actual intent when they violently butchered the two deceased persons in order to dispossess them of their belongings.
“They killed two people over a short period of time and these murders were committed in aggravating circumstances warranting capital punishment,” said the judge.
In passing sentence, Justice Moyo said the accused persons’ conduct was motivated by greed.
“The courts have a duty to protect the sanctity of life through imposing harsh sentences to people like you. The two accused persons cannot escape capital punishment in the circumstances and accordingly, you are both sentenced to death by hanging,” ruled the judge.
On being asked why a death penalty should not be imposed on them, both men who appeared unfazed pleaded for lenience, saying they were sole breadwinners with minor children to take care of.
Justice Moyo reminded the accused persons of their automatic right of appeal against both conviction and sentence at the Supreme Court.
Chief Public Prosecutor, Mrs Tariro Rosa Takuva, who was being assisted by Mr Blessing Gundani, said Sibanda, who operated a Honda Fit pirate taxi in Bulawayo’s Central Business District, was last seen by his employer on April 16 in 2018 at about 5.30PM parked at corner Herbert Chitepo Street and 6th Avenue while touting for customers.
The court heard that Sibanda informed his employer that he was waiting for a customer whom he wanted to pick at around 8PM.
It was stated that the two accused persons hired Sibanda before they later robbed and killed him.
“On the same day at about 7PM, one Kudakwashe Mavhengere was driving to his plot in MacDonald area in Bulawayo along a dust road when he discovered Sibanda lying motionless on the roadside in a pool of blood,” said Mrs Takuva.
Mr Mavhengere immediately made a report to the police who attended the scene.
According to a post mortem report, the cause of death was a stab wound on the neck, assault, haemorrhage shock and perforated left jugular vein.
On May 30, detectives from Lupane CID went to Dube’s homestead and recovered more stolen goods from the people who had bought the items. The goods included several blankets, solar panels, shoes and radios.
Freddy was represented by Mr Tinashe Runganga of Tanaka Law Chambers while Mr Tapelo Ndebele of Lazarus and Sarif Legal Practitioners was Thinkwell’s lawyer. The Chronicle