Former top cop guilty of mur­der

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda

A FORMER top po­lice de­tec­tive who shot a mine worker in a fight over the own­er­ship of a mine in Fort Rixon has been con­victed of mur­der with ac­tual in­tent.

Re­fias Ma­suna (48) of Ma­hat­shula North suburb, who was em­ployed as an oper­a­tions man­ager by Man­i­fest Se­cu­rity Com­pany at the time the crime was com­mit­ted, was yes­ter­day con­victed by Bu­l­awayo High Court judge Jus­tice Fran­cis Bere. He was re­manded to Au­gust 10 for sen­tence.

Ma­suna killed Ernest Mu­denda, 31, at Zulu 8 Mine Pi­o­neer in Fort Rixon on De­cem­ber 12 in 2014.

Jus­tice Bere said although the state re­lied on cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence, Ma­suna was the only one who fired the fa­tal shot since he was the only per­son close to the scene at the time of the shoot­ing.

“Ac­cused im­me­di­ately left for Bu­l­awayo af­ter dis­charg­ing the firearm. From the ev­i­dence led dur­ing trial, it is clear that ac­cused was on that par­tic­u­lar night in no non­sense mood, which could have in­formed his ac­tions,” said the judge.

Jus­tice Bere said ev­i­dence led by Ma­suna’s sub­or­di­nate, Clev­er­ness Ng­wenya, was cred­i­ble.

Ma­suna is a former of­fi­cer-in-charge of the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Depart­ment in Beit­bridge who was fired fol­low­ing his conviction on ex­tor­tion charges in 2007. He was jailed for 30 months for de­mand­ing a R10 000 bribe from a Con­golese na­tional he had ar­rested on fraud charges.

Ma­suna’s se­cu­rity com­pany was hired by Bless­ing Ndi­weni who had just re­ceived an eviction or­der to va­cate the mine. Ndi­weni was locked in a wran­gle with Wilson Nyamhiwa over the own­er­ship of the mine.

Prose­cut­ing, Si­fiso Ndlovu-Sibanda said on De­cem­ber 9, 2014, the High Court granted an or­der in favour of Nyamhiwa and two days later the Deputy Sher­iff moved to the mine to evict Ndi­weni’s work­ers. When Ndi­weni heard of the eviction or­der, he rushed to Man­i­fest Se­cu­rity Com­pany and re­quested five se­cu­rity guards to be de­ployed to Zulu Mine. “Ma­suna joined his sub­or­di­nates and they went to Zulu 8 Mine in Fort Rixon where his guards were de­ployed. On ar­rival at around mid­night, he dis­cov­ered that there was a dis­pute over the own­er­ship of the mine,” said Ndlovu-Sibanda. His client’s work­ers had been evicted from the mine and the new miner’s em­ploy­ees had taken over the premises. How­ever, Ndi­weni’s equip­ment was still be­ing guarded by Ma­suna’s men. The court heard that Ma­suna al­legedly took a Nor­inco pis­tol from one of his guards and went to­wards the new oc­cu­pants with his guards. “When the new ten­ants in­quired who was ap­proach­ing on hear­ing foot­steps, Ma­suna iden­ti­fied him­self as Ndi­weni and in­di­cated that he would shoot one of them,” said Ndlovu-Sibanda. The new oc­cu­pants fled in dif­fer­ent direc­tions, but Ma­suna fired a shot that hit Mu­denda in the up­per part of his chest and the bul­let ex­ited through the up­per left hand arm. Mu­denda’s body was dis­cov­ered the next morn­ing at around 6AM. A post­mortem re­port in­di­cated that the cause of death was gun­shot, homi­cide and loss of blood. A re­port was made to the po­lice lead­ing to Ma­suna’s ar­rest. The pis­tol was re­cov­ered from a guard as Ma­suna had re­turned it af­ter shoot­ing Mu­denda. In his de­fence through his lawyers, Thondhlanga and As­so­ci­ates, Ma­suna said he only fired a warning shot in the air to de­ter Nyamhiwa’s work­ers who were caus­ing havoc at the mine. He also ac­cused Ng­wenya of fir­ing at the vi­o­lent mine work­ers. — @ mash­nets

Re­fifi as Ma­suna

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.