ONE of the two self-proclaimed prophets who ganged up and strangled their client, a police officer, in a bushy area where they had taken him to “cleanse him of evil spirits” was yesterday sentenced to death by hanging while the other was jailed for life.
Patrick Matikiti (26) of Sauerstown and Assurance Moyo (23) of Lobengula West killed Nhlalo Ndlovu, who was an assistant inspector, before robbing him of a car, $200, a laptop and two smart phones in December 2014.
Matikiti, the mastermind behind the murder was sentenced to death while Moyo who played the supporting role, will spend the rest of his life in jail.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere convicted both of murder with actual intent.
“We’re satisfied that the murder was committed in aggravating circumstances. The sole motive in the commission of this murder was to enable the accused persons to loot the deceased’s property,” said Justice Bere.
“We’re particularly concerned about a life which was needlessly lost. This was a heinous murder which was well executed and motivated by nothing else but greed and Matikiti is the one who masterminded the killing.”
Justice Bere expressed concern over Matikiti’s criminal record following revelations that he was once convicted for unlawful entry, theft and robbery.
“We’re particularly concerned with the life which Matikiti has been leading. His young life is sadly decorated with unacceptable criminal conduct,” he said.
The judge said Moyo was influenced by Matikiti into committing the gruesome murder.
“From the loot that Moyo got, it suggests that he was a subordinate. Matikiti clearly abused the trust which the deceased had bestowed on him. Our view is that Matikiti must not be spared and he deserves nothing other than capital punishment. We’ve a strong conviction that if we don’t impose this sentence, we would have failed society.
On being asked why a death penalty should not be imposed on him, Matikiti said he was a sole breadwinner taking care of his three minor children.
Justice Bere reminded Matikiti of his automatic right of appeal against both conviction and sentence at the Supreme Court.
Prosecuting, Mrs Tariro Rosa Takuva said on December 10, 2014, shortly after 6.30PM, Matikiti and Moyo were approached by Ndlovu who sought to be cleansed of evil spirits that were allegedly haunting him.
Ndlovu had just arrived from Lupane where he was studying midwifery at St Luke’s Hospital when he sought help from the two men.
The court heard that Matikiti and Moyo, who already had information that Ndlovu was carrying cash and some valuables in his car, hatched a plan to rob him of his belongings.
Upon arrival at Khami Dam at about 9PM, the two men manhandled the cop and choked him using a piece of cloth from their garments.
They robbed him of $200, a Toshiba laptop, two smart phones, his police ID card and a Toyota Noah and left his body in the bush. The two drove to Harare where they sold the car.
The duo’s arrest was based on a strong suspicion following a report by relatives that Ndlovu was last seen when he visited Matikiti’s home for consultation.
Forensic detectives identified Ndlovu’s remains when they took one of his bones, tooth and toothbrush to the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Applied Genetic Testing Centre for DNA profiling and the samples matched the police officer’s identity after another paternity test was conducted on his son and sister.
When police searched Matikiti’s house they found Ndlovu’s police ID.
The two men then led police to the scene of the crime for indications where the other stolen goods were recovered.
Ms Martha Mazango of R Ndlovu and Company appeared for Matikiti while Moyo was represented by Ms Vivianah Chikomo of Majoko and Majoko Legal Practitioners. Chronicle