Pius Jamba, who was arrested in June last year on allegations of murdering CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali has been found guilty by the High Court.
Jamba’s conviction followed a full trial during which he denied the allegations claiming that he was being used to cool down political tempers in the Nyatsime area, which followed the death of Ali.
High Court judge Justice Esther Muremba said there was overwhelming evidence that Jamba was the only person who argued with Ali before she went missing only to be found dead.
The judge also said Jamba’s warned and cautioned statement accurately matched indications he made on the scenes confirming that he killed Ali.
“From his warned and cautioned statement the accused admitted he killed the deceased. The statement having been correctly confirmed by the magistrate, means the accused is guilty.”
The judge also said the “indications point to the accused as the person who committed the murder.”
“We are satisfied that the accused is the person who killed the deceased because he was the last person to be seen with the deceased.
“He even admitted that he walked with her for two kilometres. To allege that two men followed behind them and that he left her after she collapsed to drunkenness is just a story.”
“Moreblessing Ali had disappeared from the face of the earth. It was not a case of mistaken identity. You were wearing a yellow t-shirt, not a red one as you wanted the court to believe.
“The State witnesses impressed the court as credible witnesses. They gave corroborating evidence.
“The accused said he did not assault the deceased at Chibanguza Night Club but evidence shows that he indeed assaulted her,” said the judge while Jamba was shook his head in dispute.
“On the fateful night, you were aggressive. Evidence led from state witnesses shows that you were violent and no one was able to restrain you from hitting the deceased.
“People feared for their lives. Kirina Mayironi even sneaked and went home while her friend was attacked.
The judge said the body was found at Jamba’s homestead when coincidentally he had absconded to Hurungwe.
She said the fact that he did not inform his mother and sister that he was leaving shows that he was running away from justice.
“It is our ruling that the confirmed warned and cautioned statement is admissible.”
Muremba said it is common cause that Jamba was at Chibanguza nightclub where Ali and her friend were drinking beer.
“It is common cause that the accused and the deceased interacted and their interaction was not positive.
“It is also common cause that Ali did not go home after drinking at the nightclub on May 24.
“Her body was found on 11 June dumped in a disused well, a place approximately 6 kilometres from where she was last seen alive.
“The person who discovered the body was the accused’s mother.
“You (Jamba) never disputed that the clothes belonged to Ali.
“We take note that this was not disputed in your evidence. If it was not you who killed her, you would not have explained that the knife is blue.
“The accuracy you described the knife leaves no doubt that you are the one who used it to dismember the body of the deceased.
“Your defence was not that strong to deny the allegations. The defence should have all material details that would be important to exonerate you.
“In a murder trial, you should state from the onset if you dispute the identity of the alleged victim.”
The judge said it was clear that the murder was not politically motivated.
Ali’s body was found dumped in a well and in a decomposing state at the homestead of Jamba’s mother over two weeks after she went missing.
The body was cut into pieces before it was stashed in sacks and dumped in the well.
During the trial, Ali’s friend Kirina Mayironi explained how she went on a beer-drinking spree with Ali the night she went missing and how she saw her being attacked by a man who was not familiar to her.
She tried to intervene but was attacked with a catapult before she ran back into the nightclub to alert others.
Other revelers rushed outside but were also attacked by Jamba, which forced them to run back into the nightclub.
She said that was the last time her friend was seen alive and when she went to look for her the following day she could not find her.
Mayironi told the court that she then met another woman Merciline Maviza who was present the previous night Ali was attacked and she told her the assailant’s name, Pius Jamba.
It also happened that another man they were drinking beer with, George Murambatsvina was found dead the following day after Ali went missing.
Other witnesses who were at the nightclub gave the same account of events.
Laina Mukandi Jamba’s mother also testified telling the court of how she found Ali’s decomposing body after the police had frequented her homestead looking for her son.
“When the police came they confirmed my worst nightmare,” she said.
Some police officers also testified.
The court also heard that Jamba was the one who told officers about other things he had dumped in the well with Ali’s body before they were recovered.
These included his mother’s kitchen knife, Ali’s brown jacket, her panties and tennis shoes.
But Jamba denied allegations saying he was coerced to admit and make indications.
He said on that night Ali followed her demanding to know why he had attacked her dog.
Jamba said Ali was in the company of two men who forced him to walk with her while they were following behind.
He said after walking about 2 kilometres, Ali, who was drunk, collapsed and he left her lying on the ground.
Jamba said he never saw her after that as well as the two men.
However, magistrate Dennis Mangosi who confirmed his statement on his initial court appearance said he asked Jamba if he was forced to make the statement which he denied.
Mangosi said Jamba told him that he voluntarily made the statement before it was placed before him as an exhibit.
During the trial, the presiding judge also asked why the case was politicised yet there was nothing politically related mentioned in the country.
The investigating officer (IO) said there was nothing political but when investigations started some people said Ali was a member of the opposition. They also alleged that Jamba’s cousin Simba Chisango had sent emissaries to abduct Ali.
However, officers said they did not find Chisango’s involvement in the murder of Ali.
The IO said his investigations concluded that the murder was not politically motivated.
The IO also narrated how Jamba took them through indications to the place where he struck Ali dead and dismembered her body.
From there he led them to another thicket where he hid Ali’s cellphone and cellphone lines before he took them to the well close to his mother’s homestead where the body was dumped.