Mathew Masinge, Court Reporter
A Wedza man has been sentenced to death for the premeditated murder of his employer.
Tapiwa Murombo was found guilty for the 2015 murder of Partson Musarandoga.
Musarandoga’s body was found dumped in Rhodesdale Dam days after he went missing whilst Murombo was arrested following a high speed chase with police along the Harare-Chirundu highway.
Murombo had pleaded not guilty to the charge arguing that he had parted ways with Musarandoga nicely after the two settled a US$4 000 tillage debt owed to him in exchange for a Toyota Vitz.
The State had it that on August 21, 2015, Murombo struck Musarandoga on the head with an axe at a farm along the Hwedza highway before making away with the vehicle.
Allegations are that after committing the murder, Murombo went on to forge a suicidal note with contents directing him to get proceeds from selling the deceased’s tonne of maize, 25 litres of diesel and car battery.
Murombo then disappeared to an unknown location before the deceased’s son called him looking for his father.
The court heard that Murombo provided two different addresses in Rusape to the deceased’s son where he claimed Musarandoga had relocated to with his new wife.
Murombo switched off his mobile phone before proceeding to Kariba to buy kapenta fish for resale.
After a tip off officers from the homicide pursued Murombo along the Harare-Chirundu highway where they shot him on his leg when he tried to escape.
The deceased’s particulars and a Nokia Asha 303 phone were found in Murombo’s possession.
He was later taken for indications at Rhodesdale Dam in Hwedza where Musarandoga’s body was found.
In her ruling Justice Priscillah Munangati-Manongwa ruled that Murombo failed to exonerate himself from committing the murder.
“The court finds that the reasons advanced are not such as to convince the court not to pass the death sentence.
“In essence, after taking all factors into account, this court finds that there are no circumstances of a mitigating nature that would call for a lesser sentence.
“Neither a life sentence nor a sentence of not less than twenty years will meet the justice of the case.
“Thus, in the absence of any meaningful reasons advanced by the accused as to why the death sentence should not be imposed upon him, and the accused not being in the group that is excluded by s 48(2)(c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) from receiving a death sentence, the accused is sentenced to death.
“The accused shall be returned to prison, there to be held until the execution of the sentence according to law,” ruled the judge.