A man from Matobo ganged up with two accomplices, one of them his nephew, and fatally stabbed a villager, ripping his stomach open before dumping him at an abandoned police base where he later died.
Johannes Moyo (45) of Kezi who has been on the run for almost 14 years after allegedly killing Japhet Sithole (31) in 2002, yesterday appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo facing a murder charge.
Justice Moyo is expected to deliver judgment on December 2.
The trio stabbed Sithole, who was employed at Pillow Mine in Kezi, six times leading to his death for walking into a bar carrying a hammer.
Moyo connived with his nephew, Francisco Phiri and Novity Ndlovu to allegedly commit the gruesome murder.
Phiri is on the run while Ndlovu died before he was arrested.
Prosecuting, Mr Trust Muduma said on May 25, 2002, at about 9PM, Moyo and his accomplices were drinking beer at a bar at Ndabankulu Business Centre in Kezi when Sithole walked in carrying a hammer.
He said the three men intercepted Sithole as he was going towards the counter and demanded to know why he was carrying a hammer in the bar.
Sithole told the trio that he intended to hand it over to the bar lady for safekeeping, but the three men were not convinced.
They attacked him and confiscated the hammer.
Mr Muduma said Ndlovu punched Sithole and he fell down before Moyo and his nephew joined in and started assaulting him.
Sithole rose to his feet and bolted out of the bar and ran towards a nearby police base with the three men hot in pursuit.
When Sithole arrived at the police base, there was no one to attend to him and he ran back towards the business centre to seek refuge.
“Moyo and his two accomplices caught up with Sithole before he had reached the shops. They pushed him to the ground and pinned him down. Ndlovu and Phiri held Sithole’s hands as Moyo stabbed him on the stomach and chest,” said Mr Muduma.
They dragged Sithole to the abandoned police base where they dumped him before they fled leaving him for dead.
Sithole died while being taken to Maphisa Hospital by a Good Samaritan.
A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of Moyo about 14 years later after he was diagnosed with an undisclosed ailment and got admitted to a local hospital.
Moyo’s brother, Raphael yesterday took to the witness stand and described how he tried to restrain his sibling from attacking Sithole.
“I tried to restrain my younger brother from attacking the deceased and in the process he stabbed me on the hand after missed his target. There was blood all over the place,” he said.
Egnat Nyathi, who also witnessed the incident, gave graphic details of how Moyo and his accomplices brutally attacked Sithole as he and other witnesses watched helplessly.
According to a postmortem report, the cause of death was due to haemorrhagic shock, assault and multiple wounds.
In his defence through his lawyer Ms Taboka Nyathi of Vundhla-Phulu and Partners, Moyo said he retaliated after Sithole attacked him first.
“It was not my intention to kill Sithole. I was angry with him because he had inflicted injuries on me and I therefore retaliated,” he said