Soldier gets 2 years for shooting civilian 8 times

HARARE - An Air Force soldier has been jailed for two years after being convicted on a lesser charge of culpable homicide after shooting his victim eight times.

In passing sentence, High Court Judge Hlekani Mwayera said soldier Babbington Nyaruwe’s actions depicts negligence, overzealousness and lacked discipline.

She sentenced Nyaruwe to five years before setting aside three years for the next five years; on condition Nyaruwe does not commit a similar offence during that period.

Nyaruwe has been on remand for the past eight years, pending the determination of his trial for murdering Taurai Zharengi, 21, then.

“From the evidence adduced it is clear that the accused did not set out with the intention of killing the now deceased. The charge of murder with actual intent cannot be sustained,” said Mwayera.

The court heard that Zharengi was killed after having a misunderstanding with his father Timothy Zharengi.

His father went to Manyame Airbase where he made a report, claiming he had been assaulted by Taurai.

The 31-year-old soldier, was assigned to attend to the situation eight years ago, but the court heard Taurai was violent and fought back, intending to disarm Nyaruwe of his AK service rifle.

Taurai started running away from the scene and Nyaruwe, who had only worked four months in the service, shot him eight times from behind.

When he appeared in court, Nyaruwe denied shooting Taurai intentionally.

He said he fired a warning shot, not realising that the gun was on automatic mode and it only stopped firing after he removed the magazine.

However, Mwayera said, “Assuming the deceased wanted to disarm the accused, the fear was no longer there because he (Taurai) was already running away." - Tendai Kamhungira

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