Condemned man appeals against sentence

HARARE - A man who was sentenced to death has approached the High Court appealing against the court’s ruling.

Bvumai Machena on Wednesday appeared before High Court Judge Alphias Chitakunye, following a Bulawayo court ruling ordering that he should be put to death for murder.

He claims the appeal has taken too long to be heard, hence his demand to be freed on bail.

Machena was convicted on charges of murdering Edward Gwazura after the two were involved in a brawl.

According to court papers, Machena accused Gwazura’s cattle of destroying his crops.

Machena denied the charges and told the court he did not intentionally kill Gwazura.

The court was convinced after Gwazura’s 10-year-old boy corroborated the State’s evidence.

The boy, who was herding the cattle on the fateful day, told the court that one of the cows went through a fence to drink water in a nearby dam.

Machena rushed to turn the cow away and confronted the boy accusing him of letting his cattle destroy crops.

The boy ran home in fear, leaving the cattle behind. Machena later followed the boy, demanding to see his father. He was advised the boy’s father was in the fields and would only be available in the evening.

Machena returned in the evening and met Gwazura whom he advised about the issue.

Machena assaulted Gwazura with a fist before the two fell onto the ground.

Gwazura stood up and told some of the family members who had gathered that he had been stabbed.

He staggered, leaned on the fowl-run, fell down and subsequently died, the court heard.

Machena however, told the court that Gwazura was the first to assault him with a stick.

He will be back in court next Friday for the bail hearing.

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