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Businessman who caused fatal boat accident loses appeal after 13 years

By Fidelis Munyoro

The long appeal process by a Harare businessman who was slapped with an effective two-year jail term for causing the boat accident which claimed the life of Dalitso Joel Sengeredo (Junior) has finally ended, with the High Court throwing out the appeal 13 years after it was launched and so he will now serve the sentence.

Charles Chipote was granted $500 million bail, this was in the last year of the hyperinflation, in 2008 pending the appeal which was heard two years ago, but judgment was only delivered last Wednesday.

Chipote was convicted of culpable homicide a month after he negligently caused the death of Dalitso, the son of the then Shooting Stars Football Club director Mr Joel Sengeredo, when his boat crashed into the Sengeredo family boat on Lake Chivero.

He was sentenced to 30 months by the Mbare magistrates’ court that convicted him of which six months were conditionally suspended, leaving two years to be served.

However, Chipote appealed to the High Court against the both conviction and the jail term. Two judges of the High Court, Justices Pisirayi Kwenda and Felistus Chatukuta, heard the appeal and eventually found no misdirection on the part of the trial court, thus the conviction and sentence stand. The Herald