Friday 23 June 2023


The man who caused a traffic jam recently when he parked his vehicle at an intersection in Harare’s Avenues area and started beating a drum was yesterday sentenced to an effective 140 hours of community service and a US$200 fine by Harare magistrate Mr Simon Kandiyero.

The magistrate delivered the sentence after receiving two psychiatric reports on Itayi Uthant Makombe (51) from two different doctors, who found he was able to comprehend what he was doing.

Makombe had already pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and for and disorderly conduct on his initial court appearance.

Mr Kandiyero initially sentenced Makombe to six months imprisonment and suspended two months on the condition of good behaviour.

The remaining four months were suspended on condition that he performs 140 hours of community service at ZRP Chinhoyi with effect from today.

The magistrate castigated Makombe’s disorderly behaviour saying the country was now heading towards elections and as such the court did not accept such behaviour.

“The court does not condone such behaviour and given the period that we are into as a nation Makombe’s behaviour might be considered political,” said Mr Kandiyero.

For unlawful possession of firearm, Makombe was ordered to pay a fine US$200 (or equivalent in local currency) or serve two months in jail.

The State told the court that on June 5, at around 6am Makombe parked his Land Rover Defender at the intersection of Josiah Tongogara Avenue and Sam Nujoma Street Harare.

He disembarked from the vehicle, climbed onto the back and sat on a folding chair while wrapping himself with a blanket.

The court heard that he started playing an African drum and shouting in Shona language: “Ambuya Nehanda vamuka, ropa zhinji rakadeuka uye richiri kudeuka” meaning “Nehanda has resurrected, a lot of blood has been spilt and is still spilling.”

Two police officers came to the scene and ordered Makombe to remove the vehicle from the intersection. Police had to eventually use minimum force to remove him from the vehicle and arrest him.

On the second count, police on June 6 received information that Makombe was in possession of a firearm without a valid firearm certificate.

Acting on that information, Makombe led the police to his house where they recovered a black CZ pistol with a magazine of 9 by 7.65 mm calibre rounds stashed in a bag.

The firearm certificate expired on March 1 last year and he failed to renew it on time.

In mitigation, his lawyer had told the court that his client was depressed and drunk when he committed the offence. Herald


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