Panners jailed for killing bricklayer

Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Nokuthula Moyo yesterday sentenced to 18 years each, five illegal gold panners, who killed a Zvishavane bricklayer, after they went on a rampage assaulting people in the mining town following the beating of their colleague.

BY Stephen Chadenga

One of the accused was jailed to 16 years after Justice Moyo considered that he had spent 18 months in custody awaiting trial.

Tawanda Shumba (23) of Mberengwa, Pardon Ndlovu (25) of Zvishavane, Noel Zhou (20) of Gokwe, Innocent Malunga (26) of Zvishavane, Reason Ndlovu (26) of Zvishavane, were jailed 18 years each, while Andrew Sibanda (21) of Zvishavane got 16 years for killing Edmore Maphosa.

The six were convicted of murder with constructive intent, after they fatally struck Maphosa with an axe and log.

It was the State case that on July 23 2016 at around 8pm, Timothy Sithole was walking his girlfriend, Melody Shumba to her home in Mandava suburb, Zvishavane.

When Melody got to her residence she was confronted by a knife-wielding Tawanda, who demanded money from her before tearing her blouse with the weapon.

Melody shouted for help and Sithole and Present Mataba rushed to the scene, where they disarmed Tawanda and assaulted him, leaving him unconscious.

The court heard that when information reached the other accused that their colleague had been assaulted, they rushed to the scene, but found the assailants gone.

The accused then went on a rampage in Mandava, beating everyone they met on the way.

One resident, Jabulani Aaron sought refuge at Maphosa’s house, but the accused gained entry before stabbing Aaron three times on the back with an axe.

The now-deceased (Maphosa) rendered help to Aaron and took him out of his yard. When he (deceased) was coming back to his house, the accused pounced on him and struck him with a log before striking him once on the head with an axe.

The now-deceased was later ferried to Zvishavane District Hospital before being transferred to United Bulawayo Hospitals, where he succumbed to the assault injuries.

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