At the High Court in Masvingo, Justice Garainesu Mawadze acquitted two ZNA troops who had been accused of murdering two brothers named Mwenezi.
Tapiwanashe Basopo (37), a member of the HQ1 Brigade in Bulawayo, and Collen Ncube (also of the HQ1 Brigade) were found not guilty on Tuesday (29). When the shooting occurred, they were stationed at Mijingwe Ranch in Mwenezi.
Olman Nyunyana allegedly approached Basopo, Ncube, and another soldier, Chrispen Maphosa (30), who is currently at large on December 26, 2019 to report that three brothers named Matarise violently abused Olman’s brother Ernest on Christmas evening.
The three men named Basopo, Ncube, and Maphosa all offered their services in locating and arresting the alleged guilty brothers. Maphosa and Basopo dressed as soldiers and armed themselves with AK-47 assault weapons. Around 9 o’clock that night, they showed up at the Shayamabvudzi Business Centre and challenged Sifelani, who then sprinted home to alert his brothers, Ngonidzashe and Hosiah.
Taking a knife, machetes, an iron rod, and a screwdriver with them, the brothers headed to face the soldiers. Due to a misunderstanding, the two brothers made a beeline for the guards.
Both Sifelani and Hosiah were killed by gunfire. Ngonidzashe managed to get away and report it to the police. The three soldiers were apprehended by a joint force of police and military police.
Two AK-47s along with four live bullets, three used cartridges, magazines, and the firearms themselves were found.
However, the State conceded in court that it lacked sufficient evidence to convict the two, and Justice Mawadze acquitted them.
Maphosa is wanted by police in connection with an arrest warrant issued by the High Court on March 17, 2022. After noticing that Maphosa had not been up to work in months, Justice Mawadze decided not to acquit him.
Two people, Sifelani and Hosiah, were shot and killed instantly; Sifelani in the chest and Hosiah in the head.
According to the State’s argument, there is insufficient evidence to reach a verdict, and in light of that, I have come to the following conclusion. On March 17, 2022, a warrant was issued for Maphosa’s arrest. The charges of murder and any others that may have been brought against Basopo and Ncube are dropped. Since the State plans to try Maphosa, the two AK-47s being held as exhibits shall remain, Justice Mawadze ruled.
Justice Mawadze praised Basopo and Ncube for their regular court appearances and reminded them to act like officers.
For the prosecution, we had Emmanuel Mathose, and for Ncube and Basopo, we had Martin Mureri of Matutu Mureri Legal Practitioners. Looking Glass of Masvingo