HARARE - The High Court has sentenced three police officers to hang for robbery and murder.
The ruling was handed down by High Court judge Justice Mwayera in Harare yesterday.
Police officers Kudzai Madziro, Leeroy Muteyera and Ronald Sambo, murdered one of the security guards while robbing Gletwin, a police farm in Chishawasha in Harare.
Justice Mwayera sentenced the cops to death after convicting them of robbery and murder.
The trio is jointly charged with Emmanuel Dolosi.
Their death sentence awaits approval by President Robert Mugabe.
In passing judgment, Justice Mwayera said Madziro, Muteyera and Sambo should have been enforcing the law not dabbling in illegal activities. Their co-accused Clever Ndlovu, who is also a cop, committed suicide as the net closed in.
“You have an automatic right to appeal against the sentence to the Supreme Court,” Mwayera said.
“The record will be sent to the leader of the country for execution. All the four are family men and bread winners who have been in custody for four years waiting for their sentence.
“Section 48 2(a) decides whether a person should be given a death sentence or not. This is an offence calling for a capital punishment.”
Justice Mwayera said Madziro, Muteyera, Sambo deserved capital punishment to dissuade would-be offenders.
“The accused persons are to return to custody such that death penalty will be executed upon them,” Mwayera said.
The four, in the company of Ndlovu and Ocean Munjeri, who is still at large, connived to steal building materials at Gletwin Farm in June 2010.
According to State papers, Madziro, Muteyera, Sambo and Ndlovu, provided their service fire arms while Dolosi and Munjeri provided their vehicles to be used as get-away cars.
It is the State case that the six on July 2 went to the farm, which was protected by security guards. Upon entry, they confronted the guards, produced their fire arms, forced the guards to lie down and tied them with ropes.
Dolosi stayed behind, watching the guards, whilst Muteyera, Sambo, Ndlovu and Munjeri proceeded to the store room where the building materials were stored.
Along the way, the court heard, the four met Peter Munzverengu who was guarding the chicken run and ordered him to lie down at gun point. But Munzverengu screamed, alerting his colleague Edson Manembe, who was shot three times after he ran towards Munzverengu to check on the noise.
According to State papers, Manembe was shot on the cheek, chest and stomach. He was later rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital where he died upon arrival.
Zimbabwe’s new Constitution, which was voted by more than 90 percent of the 3.3 million voters in a referendum held on March 16 last year, partially abolishes capital punishment for all women as well as men under 21 at the time of the crime and the over 70s.
The death penalty still applies to all men between 21 and 70, and applies to the three police officers.