The High Court yesterday convicted a Magunje man, Jealous Tomasi, who killed a member of the neighbourhood watch committee following recovery of stolen property from his homestead, of murder with actual intent.
Tomasi could be hanged if the psychiatrists’ examination which the court ordered to be carried out on him, proves he was in his right senses when he speared Wellington Beremauro to death on August 9, 2008.
Justice Samuel Kudya ordered Tomasi’s examination at the request of his lawyer, Everson Chatambudza. The defence had argued that when the crime was committed, Tomasi was suffering from diminished mental responsibility.
After the judgment was handed down, a visibly trembling Tomasi looked devastated facing down, as his lawyer struggled to convince the judge to accept the existence of extenuating circumstances in a bid to save him from the hangman’s noose.
According to the State, the incident occurred at Chagadama Village under Chief Dandawa in Magunje, Mashonaland West Province.
On the day in question, the deceased, in the company of his colleagues, Never Chitsato and Pascal Zvikonyaniswa were on duty as neighbourhood watch members when they went to Tomasi’s homestead to search for stolen property.
Upon seeing the officers, Tomasi took to his heels and a search was conducted which led to the recovery of four cups, six plates and a radio speaker hidden in Tomasi’s beehives.
The stolen property was taken to Tomasi’s father’s homestead for recording and as the officers were leaving the homestead, Tomasi suddenly emerged, brandishing two spears and an axe.
He stabbed Beremauro through the stomach and the spear head protruded from his back. He further struck him on the head with an iron bar, killing him instantly.
After killing Beremauro, Tomasi set his father’s homestead alight and disappeared.
He later surfaced at a local police station and made a report claiming he was an MDC activist under threat from Zanu PF supporters.