A heartless and callous murderer in Nyanga has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the gruesome killing of his neighbor’s four-year-old daughter. The culprit, Philemon Nematondo, was found guilty and handed the severe punishment by Judge Isaac Muzenda of the Mutare High Court.
While the court acknowledged that Nematondo could have been a candidate for capital punishment, it opted for a life sentence in line with global trends against the death penalty.
During the trial, Principal Public Prosecutor Mrs. Jane Matsikidze presented the case, revealing that both the victim and the murderer resided in Nyanga Messengers Camp at the time of the incident.
The horrifying crime took place on December 4, 2021, around lunchtime. The young girl’s mother, Lydia Ndarangwa, was at home in the camp and even greeted Nematondo as he passed by their house before committing the heinous act.
The victim was playing with her friends at a house in the camp when Nematondo approached them and engaged in conversation with her. He then lured the young girl away from the camp to a nearby mountain where he strangled her to death.
Afterwards, Nematondo mutilated the body, cutting off the victim’s lips and one arm. He left her remains in a sitting position, leaning against a rock. The tragic discovery was made on December 11, 2021.
The disappearance of the young girl raised alarm when one of her friends returned home alone that afternoon. A search was conducted around the camp, and it was Evidence Nyawasuru, another resident, who disclosed that she had seen the victim with Nematondo, heading towards the Destiny area. Sadly, this was the last sighting of the young girl.
Numerous witnesses who assisted with the investigation confirmed seeing Nematondo with the child in the direction of Destiny. The police were promptly informed, leading to Nematondo’s arrest.
In a chilling development, on December 10, 2021, a resident found the victim’s shoes along the path near Destiny and returned them to Ms. Ndarangwa. These shoes were identified as the ones worn by the young girl when she went missing. The subsequent search in that area ultimately led to the discovery of the victim’s remains on December 11, 2021.
Throughout the trial, it was revealed that Nematondo had gruesomely severed the young girl’s lips and one arm. The nature of the cuts indicated the use of a sharp object to remove these body parts.
The sentencing of Nematondo to life imprisonment serves as a form of justice for the innocent life brutally taken away. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding the sanctity of life and the need for a just and fair judicial system to protect society from such heinous crimes.