Two Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) soldiers have been slapped with a 20-year-jail term each following conviction for murder.
Jethro Rondodzani and Edson Chawira were convicted by High Court judge Justice Lucy Mungwari following a full trial during which they showed no remorse beating to death one Tafadzwa Saidi in 2018..
Mungwari ruled it was clear that the two were not acting in line with their duty when they committed the offence and as such could not be brought within the meaning of public official used in the UN Declaration Against Torture.
“As shown from evidence during the trial, they were on a frolic of their own whilst off duty and coming from a drinking spree. As such, they were not acting as public officials,” said the judge.
“Without satisfying that requirement, the provisions of S 47 (2) (c) cannot come into play. Their moral blameworthiness thus becomes very high.”
Mungwari said Saidi died a painful death because he soiled himself, proving that he was no longer in a position to assist himself when the two left him by the roadside.
The two had beers at a pub in Chishawasha and only left after the bar was closed.
Court heard they were walking home when a colleague, one Simba Makumbe, who was behind them, had an altercation with people he was walking with, prompting the two to intervene and save him.
They then accused Saidi of assaulting their colleague before attacking him using open palms and fists.
They were stopped by one Soko, who arrived at the scene, and they walked away, leaving Saidi behind.
Saidi was later taken to St. Joseph’s Clinic for medical attention.
Due to the seriousness of his injuries, the now deceased was taken to Parirenyatwa, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
The judge said if they had cared, they should have taken the victim to hospital instead of leaving him for dead.
The incident occurred during the early hours of October 15, 2018.