Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
A CHIVI man will spend the next six years in jail for failing to make a report to the police after witnessing his friend killing a rival suitor.
Energy Home allegedly witnessed his married friend, Tichaona Maridzi of Mhosva Village, killing Edias Mhosva whom he found in a compromising position with his girlfriend.
Both Mhosva and the girlfriend were also married.
Home allegedly later connived with Maridzi to dump the rival suitor’s body in a flooded Dinhe River.
Maridzi is still at large and believed to have skipped the border to neighbouring South Africa.
He allegedly fatally struck Mhosva with a stone after he found him caressing and hugging Getrude Dzingai.
Home was 22 years at the time of committing the crime in 2011.
He pleaded not guilty to concealing a murder case when he appeared before High Court Judge Justice Francis Bere last Thursday.
Justice Bere, sitting with assessors Samuel Mutomba and Eliphas Gweru, however, convicted him due to overwhelming evidence and sentenced him to eight years in jail. Two were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
Justice Bere said while it is true that Home did not take part in the actual killing, he is liable to a criminal charge of concealing evidence as he assisted the accused person.
“While it has been confirmed by the key witness that the accused did not take part in the commission of crime, he was persuaded to conceal evidence and thus defeating the course of justice. This occurs to me that the accused is a circumstantial offender who instinctively rendered assistance in the commission of a crime,” said Justice Bere.
“Although the principal offender evaded prosecution by skipping the border, the accused has to face the consequences. The conduct of concealing a serious crime like murder cannot be taken lightly.”
Prosecutors say the two married men, Maridzi and Mhosva had extra-marital affairs with the same woman, customarily married Dzingai, 36.
“On February, 13, 2011 at around 3PM, Mhosva left Paddington Warambwa’s homestead where he was drinking traditional beer with other patrons to meet his girlfriend, Dzingai at their usual rendezvous. Mhosva met Dzingai and the two lovebirds proceeded to Chadhongi Mountain intending to be intimate,” said Takunda Chikwati prosecuting.
The court heard that at around 5PM, Home and Maridzi, who were also drinking beer at Warambwa’s homestead, left the beer drink and headed home.
On their way home, the pair saw Mhosva and Dzingai hugging and caressing each other.
This incensed Maridzi. In a fit of rage he picked up a stone, threw it at Mhosva hitting him on the forehead just on top of the right eye. Mhosva fell and died on the spot, the court heard.
The court was told that Maridzi asked Home not to tell anyone about the incident and he agreed.
“Home also worked in connivance with Maridzi to move Mhosva’s body from the scene of the incident and dump it in Dinhe River. They both agreed to go back to the beer drink at Warambwa homestead where they lied to other patrons that they found Mhosva’s body floating in Dinhe River,” he said.
Patrons then rushed to the scene where some guarded the corpse while others went to report the matter at Chivi Police Station.
Police attended the scene and took the body to Masvingo General Hospital for postmortem.
A post-mortem report available in court showed that Mhosva died of a head injury and cervical spine injury.