A 70-YEAR-OLD Buhera man was on Friday handed three life sentences for fatally shooting his domestic employee’s three family members.
Mutare High Court judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera handed down the sentence against Takadu Oxford Mangwiro after finding him guilty on three counts of murder and attempted murder.
Public prosecutor Jonathan Chingwinyiso said on September 15, 2018, Mangwiro had an altercation with Farai Mandingo who was his employee at his homestead in Buhera.
Mandingo stayed with his wife Portia Mudhara (32) and daughters Sharon and Lisa aged one and four years, respectively.
Chingwinyiso told the court that Mangwiro accused Mandingo of stealing half a tonne of maize, groundnuts, eggs, rapoko and chickens.
Mandingo denied the allegations, resulting in the accused terminating his contract of employment forthwith and ordering him and his family to vacate his premises.
Mandingo reportedly had no money to ferry his family and property to Marange, so he spent the night at his ex-employer’s homestead.
The following day, Mandingo saw Mangwiro in the yard and greeted him. The convict who was armed with a 303 rifle instead fired at Mandingo who was eight metres away, but missed.
Mandingo fell to his knees and the convict fired another shot, but again missed. Mandingo bolted into a nearby bush and went to report the matter at Murambinda Police Station.
While Mandingo was on his way to make the report, the convict shot Mudhara, Sharon and Lisa who were in their bedroom and hid the three bodies in a rubbish pit and fled.
Mandingo returned in the company of police officers and was informed of the shooting by LeeRoy Zunzanyika (14) who heard the gunshots, but the convict had fled the scene.
On September 18, information emerged that the convict was hiding in a mountain near the village. He was lured from his hideout by a phone call and was arrested.
He led the police to the decomposing bodies.
Chingwinyiso argued in court that the convict had no respect for human life, hence the need for a harsh sentence.