Tuesday, 15 March 2022


A GURUVE man, who was recently jailed for 18 years for stock theft, had his sentence cut short after a High Court automatic review.

Amos Zhakata was convicted on two counts of stock theft and sentenced to nine years on each count.

After an automatic review by High Court judge, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi, the court noted that the two counts were split unnecessarily.

“The only difference in the charges in the two counts is the description of the bovines stolen.

“In count one, the accused stole a grey ox while in count two, he stole a black cow.

“The outlines of the State’s case in both counts are equally similar in every detail.

“Once he was convicted of two counts of the offence, it was mandatory that the accused received the minimum sentence on each count,” ruled Justice Mutevedzi.

He also said the magistrate had failed to exhaust all her options.

“As a result, the accused is due to serve 18 years imprisonment.

“To cure this, the magistrate had the option to order the two sentences to run concurrently, with each other.

“She did not exercise that option.  The result is that the accused’s sentence was doubled in a situation where he should have been convicted on one count,” ruled the judge.

The judge corrected the proceedings by ordering that: “The sentence of nine years imprisonment in count two shall run concurrently with that in count one.

“The trial magistrate must recall the accused to explain to him the import of this judgment and ensure that the warrant of committal is appropriately amended,” he said. H Metro


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