Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Bulawayo High Court Circuit will, starting today, be sitting in Gweru for the next two weeks during which 16 murder cases will be heard.
Midlands provincial prosecutor Mr Samuel Pedzisayi said the 16 murder cases will be heard before High Court judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa.
“The second term of the High Court circuit for the Midlands Province is starting Monday May 18 and 16 cases will be heard before Justice Evangelista Kabasa for the coming two weeks,” he said.
Mr Pedzisayi said the murder cases involve 22 accused persons, mostly artisanal gold miners, who allegedly engaged in deadly fights over gold claims and crimes of passion.
He said in one of the cases, a murder suspect Calistos Barnabas Sakume (25) of Ruware village in Chiwundura, Midlands Province, allegedly stabbed a Gweru taxi driver with a knife, robbed him of his car and threw him into a dam, leading to his death.
Sakume allegedly teamed up with his three accomplices who are still at large and stabbed Philip Tafadzwa Kuzoraunye with a knife.
They tied his hands and legs using cables before throwing him into Zaloba Dam and he drowned.
According to State papers, it is alleged that on December 7 last year, Sakume, in the company of his accomplices Nyasha Magava, Talent Sibanda and another suspect only identified as Courage, spotted Kuzoraunye’s car, a Honda Fit parked at Mkoba 6 Shopping Centre.
They hired him to take them to the Governor’s Shops along Matobo Road in Gweru. On arrival Kuzoraunye asked for the fare from the four men and they allegedly refused to pay.
When Kuzoraunye tried to open the door, Magava, who was occupying the passenger seat, allegedly grabbed and stabbed him once in the back with a knife.
They pushed him to the back seat and Courage drove the car towards Zaloba Dam on the outskirts of the city.
On arrival, Sakume and his accomplices pulled Kuzoraunye out of the car and y tied his hands and legs using jumper cables.
They further tied him to a log and threw him into the dam, leading to his death.
After committing the alleged offence, the four men drove away and along the way they took the deceased’s identity documents from the dashboard and threw them away.
They also removed the car’s number plates and replaced them with new ones.
They allegedly drove the stolen car to Sakume’s rural home. Investigations led to Sakume’s arrest on December 23.