GWERU — There was drama during a Gweru High Court Circuit hearing yesterday after the accused pair linked to the murder of two Bulawayo businessmen traded accusations over who was responsible for the offence.
Farai Lawrence Ndlovu (23) and Wellington Gadzira (36) accused each other of lacing the businessmen’s water with cyanide, killing them instantly. Ndlovu accused Gadzira of lying to him that the cyanide poison they poured into the deceased’s drinking water was in fact a sleeping drug.
They are being charged with the murder of Michael Sutherland and Geoffrey Andrew William Povey through water poisoning.
Ndlovu told the court under cross-examination that Gadzira told him on their way to Kwekwe that they could make more money if they gave the
deceased persons some sleeping tablets and then escape with metal detectors and other personal belongings.
“We were already on our way to Kwekwe when Gadzira started questioning me on how much I was getting from working with the deceased persons and if I was satisfied in dealing with them (the deceased),” Ndlovu said.
“I told him everything was okay, but he said I was wasting an opportunity to make more money. I then asked what he meant and that is when he suggested that he had some tablets with him, which could make the deceased persons sleep for an hour and then we would take their belongings and escape,” he said.
Ndlovu said Gadzira then put the tablets in a plastic bottle container which had some liquid and they dissolved them before pouring the contents into Sutherland and Povey’s drinking
He said upon arrival near Kwekwe River where they wanted to prospect for gold, he and Povey went in one direction while Gadzira went in another with Sutherland.
“After prospecting, I came back to the vehicle with Povey and he drank the water,” Ndlovu said.
“I was shocked when he fell to the ground and was losing strength. I gave him some fruits and that is when he regained strength.
“I then ran in the direction where Gadzira had gone with Sutherland shouting for help, but I met Gadzira on the way who said Sutherland had already drunk the water and he had left him dozing.
“When I tried to explain to him that the ‘drugs’ were not having the same effect on Povey as he had earlier on explained, he became
angry and said I should not have given him the fruits.”
Ndlovu alleges that Povey attempted to drive the vehicle to hospital but stopped after only going for 1km.
He said when he held Povey by the arm to get him off the driver’s seat, Gadzira came from behind and hit him with a pick on the head.
“My Lord, Gadzira is the one who hatched this plan after I had introduced him to the deceased.
“He lied about the effects of the drugs, killed Sutherland and Povey.
“My only intention was to participate in making them sleep and escape with metal detectors and not commit murder.”
But in his defence, Gadzira said Ndlovu was the one who struck Povey.
“He is the one who struck Povey with a pick and not me,” Gadzira said.
Chief law officer Rosa Takuva told the court after the incident, the pair fled the scene with the deceased’s vehicle, $300 cash and other personal belongings.
High Court judge Justice Maphios Cheda is expected to make a ruling on the matter today.