Saturday 28 January 2023


A MBERENGWA man who stabbed a police officer with a knife on the neck, strangled him with a rope before escaping with the deceased’s car, two cellphones and US$130 cash has been sentenced to life in prison.

Piso Moyo (24) of Bindu Village under Chief Nyamhondo in the Vurasha area in Mberengwa appeared before Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese who is sitting at the Gweru High Court Circuit facing one count of murder.

Moyo, through his pro deo lawyer, Mr Devias Mujaya of Mawadza and Mujaya Legal Practitioners, tendered a not guilty plea and tried by all means during the trial to disassociate himself from the crime.

Justice Makonese convicted Moyo of the murder, which he said was committed in aggravated circumstances of his friend and police officer, Constable Benjamin Munoitei Murambiwa (32) before driving off with his Honda Fit vehicle, two cellphones and US$130 cash.

Moyo, the court proved, stabbed Murambiwa once in the neck with a knife and as he was bleeding profusely, he took a rope that was in the car and strangled him.

Moyo was caught while pirating in Mwenezi using the deceased’s vehicle and had given his niece one of the cellphones and sold the other.

After taking about 45 minutes to write the judgment, Justice Makonese said Moyo was guilty of a callous murder that was committed in aggravated circumstances and deserved to be locked away for life.

Moyo, he said, was a danger to society.

“The callous murder was committed in aggravated circumstances. The accused brutally killed the deceased before robbing him of his car, money and two cellphones. The murder was committed in the course of a robbery and the aggravating feature is that the murdered victim was a police officer,” he said.

Justice Makonese said while the defence lawyer tried to argue that the deceased was not on duty, he said the statute is clear that killing a police officer is aggravation whether he is in uniform or not.

“The statute is clear and we can’t argue over that. In this matter, the accused knew the deceased was a police officer since they were friends. He killed his victim with the full knowledge that he was a police officer and the attitude of the court might have been different if he didn’t know that his friend was a police officer,” he said.

Justice Makonese said Moyo didn’t show any remorse but rather sought to distance himself from the murder that he committed.

“The accused didn’t show any remorse and this conduct shows that you are inherently wicked. How you murdered him showed you have no value for life. You acted out of foolish belief that the offence will just disappear in thin air as you went on to use the deceased’s vehicle for pirating in Mwenezi where you were then arrested. You are sentenced to life in prison,” he said.

Prosecuting, Mr Samuel Pedzisayi told the court that Moyo was friends with Murambiwa, who during his lifetime resided at ZRP Mtapa and was employed as a police officer.

The court heard that on December 12 in 2020 at Madeura pick-up point in Zvishavane, Murambiwa picked Moyo and proceeded to Gweru as he used to pirate between Gweru and Zvishavane on his off days.

Subsequently, a friendship developed between the two.

When they reached Gweru, the now-deceased proceeded to his girlfriend’s place in Mkoba 13 and she cooked food for the two. Murambiwa informed his girlfriend that Moyo was his nephew.

On the same day, Murambiwa proceeded to Masvingo in the company of Moyo where he went to another girlfriend and slept there.

The court heard that on December 13, the two went back to Zvishavane and Murambiwa went to yet another girlfriend who resided in Buffalo Advelorem suburb in Zvishavane.

“The accused was left in the vehicle and the deceased went away with his girlfriend into the house. He later returned and the accused and deceased slept in the vehicle. While in the vehicle, the two woke up and the accused took a knife and stabbed the deceased once in the neck,” said Mr Pedzisayi.

He said Moyo then took a rope that was in the deceased’s vehicle and strangled him.

“He then pulled him out of the vehicle into the thick grass and left him there. The accused then took away two cellphones, a G-tel and an Itel, a black wallet containing US$130 and drove the accused’s vehicle to Mwenezi,” he said.

The court heard that the body of the deceased was discovered by one Prince Muhle and a report was made to the police.

“The accused was later arrested in Mwenezi after investigations were carried out leading to the recovery of the deceased’s property from the accused person,” said Mr Pedzisayi.  Chronicle


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