Four jailed for life for killing guard at SDA church-run school

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tor­tured be­fore he died,” said the judge. “The de­ceased must have died a painful death be­cause of the mul­ti­ple frac­tures and in­juries all over his body. The ac­cused per­sons fur­ther humiliated the vic­tims by or­der­ing them to lie on their stom­achs be­fore ty­ing them us­ing a rope.”

Jus­tice Takuva said the court has a duty to up­hold the sanc­tity of hu­man life. “Those who kill oth­ers in or­der to ac­quire ill-got­ten prop­erty should not ex­pect le­nience. The courts have a duty to pro­tect the sanc­tity of hu­man life, which is a spe­cial com­mod­ity and in our view, a se­vere penalty is called for,” he said.

The judge said al­though the ac­cused per­sons were proper can­di­dates for death sen­tence, the court ex­er­cised its dis­cre­tion fol­low­ing con­vinc­ing sub­mis­sions by their lawyers.

The four men struck Sika­longa with an iron bar on the head and all over his body be­fore stab­bing him with a hunter’s knife.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Mr Trust Muduma said on Jan­uary 17 at around 3AM, the de­ceased who was man­ning SDA premises left Mr Tshuma at their guard­room and went out to con­duct rou­tine se­cu­rity checks along the perime­ter fence. Af­ter a few min­utes Mr Tshuma heard the de­ceased scream­ing and shout­ing and he rushed out of the guard­room to in­ves­ti­gate.

Mr Tshuma was con­fronted by Dlamini who pointed a pis­tol at him and or­dered him to raise his hands. Dlamini searched Mr Tshuma and took his cell­phone.

Mpofu, Bhebhe and Phuthi stabbed and man­han­dled Mr Sika­longa and Mr Tshuma be­fore or­der­ing them to lie on their stom­achs.

The gang there­after tied Mr Sika­longa and Mr Tshuma with a school flag rope.

The trio then pro­ceeded to the school ad­min­is­tra­tion block where they used a bolt cut­ter to open the door to gain en­try. “They en­tered the head­mas­ter’s of­fice and while in­side they used a grinder to de­stroy a safe and stole $133 and an HP lap­top. They then en­tered the school clerk’s of­fice and stole two lap­tops, a Len­ovo and a Toshiba, five navy blue SDA t-shirts,” said Mr Muduma.

At round 5AM, a mo­torist who was driv­ing along Hyde Park road to­wards the city cen­tre was stopped by some­one who alerted him about the in­ci­dent. The mo­torist rushed to the scene and un­tied Mr Tshuma and Mr Sika­longa. He drove to Nketa Fire Sta­tion in Iminyela and sum­moned an am­bu­lance which rushed the two se­cu­rity guards to Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal where Mr Sika­longa died on ad­mis­sion.

A re­port was made to the po­lice lead­ing to the ar­rest of the four rob­bers and re­cov­ery of all the lap­tops, $40, two t-shirts and a pis­tol.

Mr Task Vhiki of Lib­erty Mcijo and As­so­ci­ates rep­re­sented Bhebhe while Mr Mod­ern Chimwanda of Nyawo Ruzive Le­gal Practice was Mpofu’s lawyer.

Mr Khol­wani Ng­wenya of TJ Mab­hikwa and Part­ners rep­re­sented Dlamini and Mr Ti­nashe Run­ganga of Tanaka Law Cham­bers rep­re­sented Phuthi. — @mash­nets

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