High Court opens for murder trials

Source: High Court opens for murder trials | Herald (Africa)

Court Reporter

THE High Court has opened for the second session, with 46 murder cases lined up for prosecution after a three-week delay due to  the national lockdown aimed at combating the spread of the deadly Covid-19.

While courts opened for business on May 11, the National Prosecuting Authority engaged the Judicial Service Commission to have all criminal cases deferred to June 1.

The case of a 29-year-old Wedza man who fatally axed his wife and two children before drinking a pesticide in a bid to commit suicide is among the cases lined up for trial.

Innocent Chakabuda of Plot 83, Fels Farm in Wedza, survived the suicide attempt after he was taken to Mount St Mary’s Hospital in Wedza.

In September last year, Chakabuda allegedly had a misunderstanding with his wife Junior Dzonga (20) after he had impregnated another woman residing in their neighbourhood.

The wife threatened to leave the matrimonial home together with their two children and this did not go down well with Chakabuda who allegedly took an axe and struck his wife and children several times on their heads, killing them on the spot.

After the act, the suspect consumed a pesticide in an attempt to commit suicide.

Another case lined up is that of a Harare man who was allegedly caught with a human head in the car he was driving after a high-speed chase.

The man has been indicted to face trial at the High Court on Monday next week.

Emmanuel Matsika (27) was driving a suspected stolen vehicle, when he was arrested.

Police had earlier recovered a headless body in a disused toilet in Harare’s light industrial area.

Matsika, who is homeless and stays at a dumpsite near the University of Zimbabwe, was alleged to have hatched a plan to kill David Arendi.

He allegedly went to a disused toilet at the corner of Lyton and Paisley roads in Workington, Harare, on December 21, 2018 where he confronted and killed Arendi, cutting off his victim’s head using a knife.

Matsika allegedly took Arendi’s head and left his body at the scene.

He was later arrested after a high-speed chase with the police who recovered two blood-stained knives and the head in the car he was driving.

Matsika allegedly indicated to the police how he murdered Arendi at the crime scene.

In another development, the trial of Paidamoyo Chirunga failed to commence on Monday after five State witnesses failed to turn up and it was rolled over to Tuesday this week.

On Tuesday, both Chirunga and the witnesses failed to come to court after they were all turned away at roadblocks leading into the city centre due to Covid-19 restrictions on movements.

“The suspect communicated with the prosecution while at the roadblock,” said Chief Law Officer Michael Mugabe of the Prosecutor-General’s Office.

The trial was then postponed indefinitely. Chirunga is being charged with murder after allegedly forcing a woman to drink poison.

Another case that is set to commence on Monday is that of Benjamin Mutichu, who allegedly shot and killed his victim with an AK47 rifle. Four witnesses have been lined up to testify in the trial.

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