Three soldiers, who murdered a senior Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) official, Brown Mwale, in 2012 and were sentenced to 14-year effective jail terms each, were yesterday released by the High Court on $100 bail each, almost two years after being incarcerated.
Mwale lost his life over a $5 taxi fare in Glen Norah, following an argument with the soldiers, Blessing Nyakwima, Nkazimulo Nkomo and Damascus Tafa. High Court judge, Justice Ester Muremba in 2012 convicted them of murder with constructive intent.
The trio, through their lawyer, Norman Mugiya, appeared before Justice Muremba again yesterday, who had a change of heart and released them on bail pending appeal.
According to the evidence presented in court, Mwale was attacked and killed by the soldiers following a dispute over taxi fare charged by Nyakwima’s brother, Vitalis, a taxi driver, who was acquitted by the court.
It was the State’s case that on the day in question, Mwale had been drinking beer at a night club in Glen Norah B in the company of his friends Thulani Gumbo, Amos Mukwena and Mavhuto Bhasikoro, and he later decided to hire a taxi to go to his Waterfalls home towards midnight.
Justice Muremba heard when Mwale and his friends were aboard the taxi, Vitalis charged $5 for the trip, sparking a quarrel between the two men over the amount.
In the ensuing melee, Vitalis called for back-up from his brother Nyakwima together with their friends, Nkomo and Tafa.
When Blessing, Nkomo and Tafa arrived at the scene, they immediately attacked Mwale and his friends with open hands, clenched fists and kicked them, ordering them to disembark from the vehicle.
At that juncture, the court heard, Gumbo, Mukwena and Bhasikoro ran away, leaving Mwale at the mercy of his attackers.
The court further heard at some point Blessing, Nkomo and Tafa briefly fled the scene when they spotted police on bicycles patrolling the area, but Mwale’s friends later returned and while they were walking home along Sebakwe Road, the assailants re-emerged and once again attacked the helpless Mwale.
The court heard Mwale was bundled into the taxi, which left the scene at high speed driving along High Glen Road, and his body was later discovered dumped near an area popularly known as “Pamasimbi” in Glen Norah.
The matter was reported to the police, leading to the assailants’ arrest. newsday