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A CHIPINGE man whose mobile phone gave him away after he left it at the place of the person he had murdered with his colleague was last week jailed for 20 years. Lovemore Mlambo Mafukidze (22) of Matsotso Village, Chief Musikavanhu in Chipinge was convicted of the murder charges he was facing when he appeared before High Court judge, Justice Charles Hungwe last Tuesday.

He was convicted of murdering Marambeni Sithole (79) of Chimene Village, Chief Musikavanhu in Chipinge.

Prosecuting, Mr Malvern Musarurwa, said on July 26, 2015 and at about 4am, Mafukidze in the company of his accomplice, Josiah Simango who is still at large went to Sithole’s homestead in Chimene Village.

They forced the door open and pushed Sithole to the ground. The pair used Mafukidze’s Samsung cellphone to light the room.

They went on to kick Sithole several times all over her body and later strangled her to death.

After the murder, Simango picked Sithole’s cellphone thinking that it was Mafukidze’s as the cellphones were similar.

“Sithole’s daughter called her mother’s mobile phone the following day and was answered by Mafukidze, thereby raising suspicion on her mother’s whereabouts.

“Sithole’s relatives found Mafukidze’s cellphone at the scene of the murder and alerted the police,” said Mr Musarurwa.

Mafukidze was found in possession of Sithole’s cellphone and was arrested.

In his defence, Mafukidze told the court that he had not taken part in the murder, but had only observed from a distance as his friend Simango assaulted and strangled the old lady.

Mafukidze was being charged with murder as defined in Section 47 (1) (a) or (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23.

In sentencing him, Justice Hungwe said if indeed Mafukidze had been standing and watching from a distance as Simango assaulted the woman, then he was also guilty of murder as he was standing guard.

He said the attack was a gang-attack and that the two perpetrators’ conduct devalued human life and therefore deserved a stiffer penalty.

Source: Manica Post

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