Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
THE High Court has rejected Bulawayo businessman Oricious Moyo’s application for bail pending his trial for allegedly shooting and killing his lover’s husband.
Oricious is facing a murder charge in connection with the death of Tawanda “MaPecca” Moyo, a former member of Siyaya Arts Group.
He was initially charged with attempted murder until his victim died last month.
Oricious, through his lawyer, Mr Robert Ndlovu, filed his application for bail pending trial at the Bulawayo High Court citing the State as the respondent.
Oricious said he was a proper candidate for bail, arguing that he was a successful businessman looking after his seven children hence he harboured no thoughts of fleeing despite the seriousness of the alleged offence.
“The accused person contends that he is a suitable candidate for bail. There are no compelling reasons to deny him bail because he is a businessman who employs 22 people. He did not flee even after he learnt of the deceased’s death,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He said his client was also a cross-border transport operator who holds a valid passport and also owns a house in Emganwini suburb.
The State, which was represented by Ms Nokuthaba Ngwenya, opposed the application. She argued that due to the gravity of the offence, there was no guarantee that if granted bail, Oricious would not abscond given that he has links in South Africa since he is a cross-border transport operator.
In dismissing the application, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo ruled that Oricious was a flight risk.
“The applicant (Oricious) has means to travel across the border and can easily go to South Africa and disappear. This is being juxtaposed with the strength of the State case and the seriousness of the charges,” she said.
The judge said the State case is prima facie strong.
“The charges are serious and I have also found that the State case is prima facie strong. I have also found that the penalties are heavy with a possibility of the death sentence,” said Justice Moyo. “Accordingly, I find that the applicant cannot be held to be a suitable candidate for bail as there is a real risk that he may interfere with his employees who are witnesses in this matter and even more weighty being the fact that he is a flight risk. I will therefore not exercise my discretion in applicant’s favour and the application is accordingly dismissed,” ruled the judge.
The court heard that on July 25 at around 10PM, Oricious parked his motor vehicle at his residence waiting for the gate to be opened.
He was in the company of Jacqueline Moyo, with whom he was allegedly having an extra-marital affair. Jacqueline is also an employee at Fish and Chicken City owned by Oricious. While still parked at the gate, the now deceased confronted the pair and enquired about their relationship, the court heard.
At that moment Oricious started his car in an attempt to flee but Tawanda clung to the front passenger’s door. This prompted Oricious to produce a pistol and shot Tawanda once on the right side of the ribcage. Tawanda fell to the ground and the two who were still in the car sped off.
Oricious later reported the incident to the police accusing Tawanda of trying to rob him. Police attended the scene and summoned an ambulance which rushed Tawanda to Mpilo Central Hospital.
On August 28, an operation was conducted on Tawanda who still had a bullet lodged in his body near the spinal cord.
After the operation, Tawanda’s condition deteriorated and he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where he died the following day.
Tawanda’s post mortem report shows that he died due to septic shock, septic laceration, gunshot wounds and assault.