Patrick Chitumba,Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Bulawayo High Court Circuit will be sitting in Gweru for the next two weeks from Monday, with 16 murder cases set to be heard.
Midlands provincial prosecutor Mr Samuel Pedzisayi said the 16 murder cases will be heard before High Court judge Justice Makonese.
“The first circuit for 2020 legal year for Midlands province is starting on Monday January 27 and 16 cases will be heard before Justice Makonese,” he said.
Mr Pedzisayi said the murder cases involve 22 accused persons, mostly artisanal gold miners, who allegedly engaged in deadly fights over gold claims and crime of passion.
He said one of the main cases is of a woman from Mberengwa who allegedly paid thugs $200 to kill her boyfriend and supplied them with petrol to burn the body and dump it in a dam.
Chenjerai Zhou (37) and Tawonganei Shoko (29), acting on the orders of Loice Mahlamvana (39), allegedly fatally assaulted Munakiishe Chinyoka (42) and burnt his body beyond recognition before dumping his remains in a dam.
Mr Pedzisayi, said Mahlamvana and Chinyoka were lovers before their relationship ran into problems resulting in her hiring thugs to kill him.
“In November 2017, Mahlamvana allegedly connived with Zhou and Shoko to kill the deceased. Mahlamvana told the two that Chinyoka was now bothering her,” said Mr Pedzisayi.
“She paid Zhou and Shoko $100 each.”
“Zhou and Shoko dumped Chinyoka’s body in a bush and in a bid to conceal the evidence, they allegedly agreed to dispose the body by dousing it with petrol, which had been sourced by Mahlamvana, before burning it and dumping the remains in Mupandashango Dam,” he said.
On December 5, 2017, the remains of the deceased were discovered floating in the dam by a passerby who alerted the police.
Investigations led to the arrest of the accused persons.