15-year murder trial ends with sigh of relief

An Inyathi man who was accused of killing a mentally challenged man 15 years ago breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when his three-year sentence was wholly suspended after being convicted on a lesser offence of culpable homicide.

By Tinashe Mungazi

The murder case of Tranos Mashoko who was 26 years old when he took part in fatally assaulting Arthur Joel Mpofu then aged 21, a mental patient was finally concluded after dragging for more than 15 years.

Convicting Mashoko while sitting on circuit at Hwange Magistrates’ Court, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice, Martin Makonese said his rights were violated as it took 15 years for him to be prosecuted.

“According to the law every person has a right to be heard in time, the events to this trial occurred 15 years ago. The reason for the delay should be shouldered by the State and should have prosecuted accused a long time ago and if tried in a reasonable time frame could have finished serving his sentence. In my view it is unjust to give accused a custodial sentence as sending him to jail will serve nothing after 15 years. Therefore, the appropriate sentence to meet the justice of this case is three years imprisonment which are wholly suspended for five years,” said Justice Makonese.

The delays for the trial to kick off was as a result of the State’s failure to secure attendances of that co-accused persons who are on the run. However last year the State decided to proceed with the trial without Mashoko’s co-accused.

Mashoko, together with his accomplices Nkosilathi Siziba, Tinos Dube heavily assaulted Mpofu with sjamboks, a knobkerrie and wire sling for breaking into their homes and left him for dead.

Charlene Gorerino appeared for the State.

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