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THE hangman's noose awaits three police officers convicted for the cold-blooded killing of a security guard during a botched armed robbery at a farm owned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

Kudzai Madziro, Leeroy Muteyera, Ronald Sambo, who were all cops, and a civilian Emmanuel Dolosi were found guilty of murder with actual intent over the 2010 killing of Edson Manembe at Gletwin Farm in Chishawasha.

In a judgement handed down Monday, High Court Judge Hlekani Mwayera said the three officers' moral blameworthiness was beyond reproach adding they deserved to hang.

"You have the right to appeal against the sentence at the Supreme Court, but in the meantime our ruling record will be sent to President Mugabe for review. We have studied your mitigation that you have spent four years in remand without your case being heard, that you are family men but we have found out that there is nothing to disprove your moral blameworthiness," Justice Mwayera told the convicts.

The court added that, when passing judgement, consideration had been made to the fact that three of the accused were law officers who had turned rogue.

"The court has taken into consideration Section 48 2(a) of the constitution whether or not to impose the death penalty. We have also taken into cognisance that accused two, three and four committed armed robbery while they were police officers who are supposed to be custodians of the law. The courts do not tolerate cases where police officers turn into armed robbers and in this case, death sentence is appropriate," ruled Justice Mwayera.

The trial heard that on June 2, 2010, the four along with Clever Ndlovu (now deceased) and one Ocean Munjeri (still at large), planned to steal building material from the police farm's store room.

Madziro, Muteyera, Sambo and Ndlovu, as police officers, would provide their service revolvers while the two civilians Dolosi and Munjeri would chip-in with get-away cars.

But on entering the farm the robbers confronted by two security guards on duty. They however threatened them with the guns and managed to tie them up with shoe laces.

Prosecutors said Dolosi was asked to watch over the guards while his accomplices proceeded to the storeroom. However, they were disturbed by another guard, Peter Munzverengu, who was in the chicken run. The trio ordered him to lie down but Munzverengu screamed for help instead. The noise alerted another guard, Edson Manembe, who was in charge of the storeroom.

Prosecutors said Manembe went out to investigate only to be hit several times by one of the robbers using his revolver; he died of his wounds on admission at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Ndlovu reportedly committed suicide a day after the incident.

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