By Nelias Shiri
Three suspects, who allegedly killed an illegal fuel dealer from Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo for intervening in a street fight, have appeared in court.
Clifford Sibanda (24) of New Lobengula suburb, Fisani Ncube (27) and Bizwelihle Ncube (27) both from Emakhandeni allegedly ganged up and stabbed Blessing Taruona (28) before indiscriminately attacking him all over the body using a knobkerrie, resulting in his death.
The three accused persons appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Shepherd Mjanja facing murder charges.
They were remanded in custody to January 16.
The trio is also linked to a series of robbery cases under case numbers CR53/04/20 and 34/12/20, which occurred in Magwegwe.
Prosecuting, Mr Terence Chakanyuka said on December 28 last year at around 5PM, the three accused persons went to an area near Garikai in Cowdray Park where they participated in illegal gambling.
The court heard that the trio then left and went to a nearby tuck-shop where they confronted Justice Makomborero of Cowdray Park, who they accused of swindling them of their money during gambling. They accosted him and demanded their money back.
A misunderstanding ensued resulting in Taruona intervening in the scuffle to stop the fight.
“A fist fight ensued between one of the accused persons, Sibanda and the now deceased. Sibanda then stabbed the late Taruona with a knife in his abdomen and he sustained a deep cut,” said Mr Chakanyuka.
Taruona tried to flee upon realising that he had been injured, but the three accused persons chased after him.
The court heard that the accused persons caught up with him and Sibanda took a knobkerrie from his satchel and struck him on his forehead and he fell down.
Fisani picked up a stone and hit Taruona on the ribs as Sibanda continued striking him on the head several times with a knobkerrie until he lost consciousness and later died on the spot.
Soon after committing the alleged offence, the trio fled from the scene leaving the deceased lying in a pool of blood.
A police report was made leading to the arrest of the three men.
In opposing bail, Mr Chakanyuka argued that there was no guarantee that if released on bail, the three suspects would not abscond due to the gravity of the alleged offence.
He said the suspects are well-known criminals under police investigation for a series of robberies in Magwegwe hence if granted bail, they were likely to abscond.
“Due to the nature of the offence committed and the possibility of either capital punishment or a lengthy prison term upon conviction, the accused persons may be tempted to abscond if granted bail,” said Mr Chakanyuka.
The three men are facing other robbery charges and it is alleged that they attacked their victims using knives and stole valuables including cash. The Chronicle.