Mercy Chuma (18) of Muchacha village under Chief Maranda falsely implicated her ex-boyfriend Leoroyd Matomi in the murder of her boyfriend, leading to the arrest and incarceration of Mutomi for several months, the Mwenezi Magistrates’ Court recently heard.
Chuma pleaded guilty to a charge of contravening Section 180 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 23, ‘deliberately supplying false information to public authority’.
Magistrate Honest Musiiwa strongly warned Chuma and sentenced her to 10 days behind bars or alternatively to pay a fine of US$30.
Asked by the magistrate why she committed the offence, Chuma claimed the relatives of her deceased boyfriend Accept Gumbo forced her to implicate Matomi, although she herself was aware that he was not the culprit.
Represented by prosecutor Angelinah Makonya, the State’s case was that on October 21, 2017 police detectives went to Maranda business centre to investigate the murder of Gumbo.
They proceeded to the scene where they approached Chuma who was the key eyewitness.
Chuma, in a recorded statement, informed detectives that Matomi was the one who committed the offence, leading to his arrest as the suspect.
The court further heard that after further police investigations, it was discovered that one Leon Tauyanago Sibanda was the real culprit who had committed the crime and fled.
This led to the arrest of Chuma but Matomi had already stayed in remand prison for many months in connection with the crime he had nothing to do with.