The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Tues­day, Novem­ber 10, 1992 — A Zim­babwe Na­tional Army driver whose Puma truck col­lided with a long dis­tance bus in Esigo­dini in April 1990, killing 18 peo­ple on the spot had his six-year jail term re­duced by half by a high court judge yes­ter­day.

Re­duc­ing Ozi­asMd­longwa’s sen­tence to three years in prison with one year sus­pended for five years. Mr Jus­tice Blackie sit­ting with Mr Jus­tice Cheda ruled the trial mag­is­trate had mis­di­rected him­self when he sen­tenced Md­longwa to four months in prison for each per­son who died.

Mr Jus­tice Cheda con­curred. In his ar­gu­ment dur­ing the ap­peal, Md­longwa’s de­fence coun­sel, Mr Maphios Cheda said the sen­tence im­posed by the mag­is­trate was “man­i­festly ex­ces­sive and in­duced a sense of shock”.

He said: “The trial mag­is­trate mis­di­rected him­self by fail­ing to sus­pend part of the sen­tence. The trial mag­is­trate should have treated my client with cus­tom­ary le­niency ac­corded to first of­fend­ers”.

He added that the mag­is­trate was largely in­flu­enced by the num­ber of peo­ple who died in the ac­ci­dent, hence he be­came harsh by im­pos­ing a four month im­pris­on­ment for each life lost.

In his sub­mis­sion to State coun­sel Mr Jasper Msimbe con­ceded that the pat­tern of sen­tenc­ing adopted by the mag­is­trate seemed to have taken the to­tal sen­tence out of line with other sen­tences im­posed in sim­i­lar cases.

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