Killer kombi driver jailed

HARARE - The kombi driver behind the death of 17-year-old Harare Girls’ High school pupil Jocelyn Gomba has been sentenced to six years and eight months behind bars and will never drive a passenger vehicle in his lifetime.

The judgment was handed down yesterday.

Wadzanayi Mabika, 41, ploughed into a school girl a fortnight ago, before dragging her body under the vehicle.

He then fled the country and was only apprehended in South Africa.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to all the six charges against him.

According to the State, Mabika was negligent in his driving as he only stopped when the Nissan Caravan he was driving hit a lamp post.

He then disembarked and disappeared from the scene, leaving the deceased schoolgirl trapped underneath the vehicle.

However, in passing sentence Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo took into consideration the fact that Mabika pleaded guilty to the charges and did not waste the court’s time.

“The wilfulness in which he drove his vehicle is underpinned by that he ran over the deceased, dragged her body until he hit a post, a painful demise of a young life, very harrowing,” Makomo said.

“There can be no explanation for that level of recklessness.

“He admitted he saw that he had knocked the girl down but continued anyway, maybe if he had stopped at that stage, maybe death would have been averted,” Makomo said.

The magistrate said a prison term was the only “appropriate sentence” for the accused.

“ . . . Kombi drivers are taking a toll on human life, causing untold suffering to families. Stiffer penalties should be proffered, to turn around our roads that have become a jungle.

“For the reasons I have explained above, count one sentence (culpable homicide), you are hereby sentenced to five years imprisonment, one year is suspended provided you will not be involved in an accident where you are to blame,” Makomo said.

In mitigation the accused defence council led by Nathan Gororo pleaded that the accused fled from the scene of the crime not because he did not care but feared that the public would meet out instant mob justice on him.

“The severity of sentencing of judicial officials will not deter crime, this needs all stakeholders . . . even if this offender is given 50 years it will not mean this will decrease crime.  It’s for all stakeholders to work together to minimise this crime,” Gororo said.

Gororo said the family members of the accused were aware of the expenses incurred by the family of the deceased and were prepared to reimburse.

“They know this is not enough but they are prepared to do this through me. We are not saying what he did deserves ultra-mercy from the court but they should be a balance between emotions of the society and the sanity of the court.”

Comments (4)

I wonder if human life is still sanctified. A man who kills an innocent girl recklessly driving, flees to SA is given only 6 years. What a mockery of justice. Another man steals a cow and does not kill it is charged 25 years in jail. Where is justice?

Viona Ngwena - 9 June 2016

a man who kills 20000 pple during Gukurahundi still remains a president, makes many homeless with him Murambatsvina, remains a president, kills more during every other election and remains untouched...and murdered 300 after being wallopped in elections whose results he manipulated for 34 days ...he still remains a president. even if he visits the country once in a while!

Dhonato Matibili - 9 June 2016

I thought the Judge was going to give all other commuter driver a good lesson from this man. I will only define this justices that has gone mad.

felix busuman - 10 June 2016

Our justice system needs a complete overhaul. Snake skin 8 yrs, dead pangolin 9yrs, reconnecting electricity 10 yrs. That armed robber at CABS bank 18moths. Did that musician DuDu completed her sentance for knocking and killing person while driving without being a holder of a driver's licence. I think our laws should move with time, if the level of recklessness is gross, that driver should be charged with murder. And now with the death of toddlers being baptised currently pending we wait for another shocking outcome.

X-MAN IV - 11 June 2016

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