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Bar owner jailed 15 years for murdering customer

Local News
Court hammer

DEMA bar owner Talent Nyamombe, has been slapped with a 15 year jail term following his conviction for strangling his customer to death over unbecoming behaviour.

High Court judge Justice Moses Foroma sentenced Nyamombe after a full trial during which he denied killing his client Benjamin Chandimhara.  He insisted that the client committed suicide.

Chandimhara was found hanging from the ceiling in Nyamombe's bar on December 23, 2016.

A post-mortem confirmed that he did not die from strangulation; pointing to the fact that he was killed first before he was hanged.

According to the state outline, on December 23, 2016, Chandimhara (now deceased) went to Gute Nite Club in Ziko, Dema after having left his house for a week without notifying his wife of his whereabouts.

The court heard through the evidence of witnesses identified as Korai Chota, Fradreck Muzoriwa and Nomsa Besa, that before his death, the deceased conducted himself in a rowdy manner and got engaged in various altercations.

It was Muzoriwa’s evidence that around the early hours of the morning, Chandimhara got in a physical altercation with some of the patrons in the bar.

During a scuffle, he threw a chair and missed the target but hit a table which then broke down.

The court heard this incident prompted Nyamombe to close the bar early, complaining that Chandimhara had damaged his property.  Chandimhara refused to pay for what he damaged.

The witnesses also said Nyamombe vowed that Chandimhara would not get away with what he did.

Nyamombe dismissed everyone from the club, but forced Chandimhara to remain behind. Chandimhara was then found hanged the following day.

The court was convinced that Nyamombe killed Chandimhara.

"According to the pathologist’s testimony, the deceased did not die from strangulation; neither did he die from complete hanging. Accused prevented the deceased from leaving the bar and only the accused can explain what happened to the deceased after he remained in the bar which had been closed. The pathologist did not find evidence of self-hanging in this case.

"Be that as it may, the accused's story is not believable. In fact, it does not have any ring of truth and is self-contradictory. The court finds that the accused‘s defence is beyond doubt, false and is one which was fabricated in an effort to escape blame for the deceased’s death," Justice Foroma ruled.

Nyamombe, through his lawyer Fortune Murisi, has since filed an appeal against the conviction and sentence at the Supreme Court.

Nyamombe denied the version of events, and claimed that Chandimhara had asked him for a place to sleep as he was afraid of being beaten up by the people he had provoked.

He further claimed that he was also shocked to find Chandimhara hanging the following morning.

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