Bail for an­other AirZim boss ‘killer’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda

AN­OTHER sus­pect al­legedly linked to the bru­tal mur­der of Air Zim­babwe pub­lic re­la­tions ex­ec­u­tive, Shin­gai Dh­li­wayo in Botswana three months ago, has been granted $150 bail pend­ing trial by the High Court.

Dh­li­wayo was found dead in a bush about 5km from Ramokg­we­bana Bor­der Post on April 30. She was found tied to a tree with her feet and hands bound while a piece of cloth was stuffed in her mouth.

God­frey Mavhu­rafero of Cow­dray Park sub­urb in Bu­l­awayo was granted bail last week af­ter fil­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion at the Bu­l­awayo High Court. Mavhu­rafero’s ac­com­plice, Mgcini Xaba, was last month granted $100 bail by Jus­tice Martin Makonese.

Mavhu­rafero was ar­rested in May to­gether with Artwell Ndi­weni, Mgcini Xaba and Du­misani Ncube. Ncube and Ndi­weni are still in cus­tody. In his judg­ment, Jus­tice Ni­cholas Mathonsi said was it was clear from the af­fi­davit of the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer that there was no ba­sis to deny Mavhu­rafero bail.

“There is ab­so­lutely no ba­sis for deny­ing the ap­pli­cant bail es­pe­cially as his co-ac­cused found in pos­ses­sion of a cell­phone link­ing him to the of­fence has been ad­mit­ted to bail,” said Jus­tice Mathonsi.

The judge said all the rea­sons re­lied upon by the State in seek­ing to deny Mavhu­rafero bail were not sus­tain­able.

“Al­though the claim that the ap­pli­cant and his al­leged ac­com­plices are cross-bor­der crim­i­nals, there is no sin­gle ref­er­ence speak­ing of any crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity men­tioned. The ap­pli­cant has ex­plained that he was ar­rested merely be­cause the po­lice had come to his house look­ing for Mgcini Xaba, a co-ac­cused whom he had hired as a builder to con­struct a struc­ture at his house in Cow­dray Park,” said the judge.

Jus­tice Mathonsi or­dered Mavhu­rafero to con­tinue re­sid­ing at his given ad­dress pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the mat­ter and to re­port twice a week at Lu­veve Po­lice Sta­tion as part of the bail con­di­tions.

“In the re­sult it is or­dered that the ap­pli­cant is ad­mit­ted to bail pend­ing trial on con­di­tion that he de­posits $150 with the Regis­trar of the High Court in Bu­l­awayo,” ruled the judge.

In his grounds of ap­peal, Mavhu­rafero, through his lawyers Mathonsi Ncube Law Cham­bers, ar­gued that if given bail, there was no ev­i­dence that he would ab­scond since he was of a fixed abode and had no pass­port.

The State al­leges that the four lured Dh­li­wayo to Botswana on the pre­text that they wanted to hire her for some wed­ding ser­vices in the neigh­bour­ing coun­try.

Upon her ar­rival in Botswana on April 30, Dh­li­wayo al­legedly no­ti­fied the ac­cused per­sons who met her. They al­legedly robbed her of valu­ables, an undis­closed amount of cash, a lap­top, elec­tronic gad­gets and a cell­phone.

The four took Dh­li­wayo, gagged and stran­gled her to death be­fore they left her body tied to a tree trunk in a bushy area be­tween Jack­alas Vil­lage 1 and Gatswane River, about 5km from Ramokg­we­bana Bor­der Post.

The body was dis­cov­ered by a Botswana na­tional on May 7 who made a re­port to the po­lice. A post mortem was later con­ducted at Nyangabgwe Hos­pi­tal in Fran­cis­town.

Botswana con­sul­tant foren­sic pathol­o­gist Doc­tor Mu­goma con­cluded that Dh­li­wayo died due to stran­gu­la­tion and gag­ging. Af­ter a se­ries of in­ves­ti­ga­tions, the four were al­legedly found in pos­ses­sion of Dh­li­wayo’s grey pouch. Dh­li­wayo’s ZTE phone was re­cov­ered from Ndi­weni’s wife.

The court heard that cell­phone records show Ndi­weni as the per­son who lured Dh­li­wayo to Botswana pre­tend­ing to be a client.

The quar­tet, which is al­leged to have crim­i­nal records in Zim­babwe and Botswana, was picked up at var­i­ous locations around the city by de­tec­tives from the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Depart­ment (CID) Homi­cide sec­tion. — @ mash­nets

Shin­gai Dh­li­wayo

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