Chitungwiza man sentenced to 20 years in jail for murder

A CHITUNGWIZA man who allegedly killed his nephew in cold blood after suspecting him of stealing his radio speaker has been jailed for 20 years.

High Court Judge Munamato Mutevedzi ruled that the murder of Robert Nyatsine by Owen Katsande and his accomplices, who are still at large, was premeditated and senseless.

According to court documents, Katsande lost his speaker, a musical instrument, at his home in Chitungwiza and teamed up with his friends to hunt down the suspected thieves.

Katsande and his friends rounded up several people, including the deceased, and tortured them.

The court heard the suspects assaulted Nyatsine all night until he died.

Katsande was initially charged alongside his brother Farai, who was later acquitted.

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In his defence, Katsande claimed that the deceased had gone to his place of residence in search of refuge after being attacked by unknown persons in a brewery.

Katsande said he provided the deceased with a place to sleep, but he sadly died the following morning.

Judge Mutevedzi dismissed his defence and convicted him.

“The perpetrator did not go to the police out of respect for the sanctity of human life or out of remorse. When he arrived there, he deliberately concealed the truth from the police,” the judge said.

“A repentant person is one who recognizes his wrongdoings and takes responsibility for what might have happened.

“The attacker did not do so. Instead, he decided to deflect responsibility and led the police on a wild goose chase by telling them that the deceased had been attacked by unknown persons at a beer hall in Chikwanha stores.”

The judge said the convict was once in hiding.

“He reappeared a year later. His arrest was as fortuitous as can be. The police identified him as a suspect in this murder after he had been arrested for drinking in public. It would be irresponsible of us to attribute anything to the offender in such circumstances,” the judge said.

“What the attacker did after the murder surprises us. He completely disappeared from the scene of the crime. He did not even attend the funeral of the deceased, although the police had not yet identified him as one of the suspects in the murder,” the judge said.

“He was not arrested until a year later, which does not reflect the letter of repentance that his lawyer attempted to use at the beginning of his mitigating arguments.”

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