Ex-cop gets life sentence

BULAWAYO - An ex-senior police detective who fatally shot a man in a fight over the ownership of a Fort Rixon mine was  yesterday sentenced to life in jail.

Refias Masuna, 50, of Mahatshula North suburb, was convicted of murder with actual intent by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere.

Masuna, who by the time of committing the crime was an operations manager of Manifest Security Company, killed Ernest Mudenda, 31, at Zulu 8 Mine Pioneer in Fort Rixon on December 12, 2014.

He is a former officer-in-charge of the Criminal Investigations Department in Beitbridge, who was fired following his conviction on extortion charges in 2007.

“In aggravation, we are concerned that an innocent life was needlessly lost in circumstances which show total disregard of a court order, and that disregard of the law calls for a stiffer penalty,” said Justice Bere in passing the sentence.

“People who decide to kill merely because they disagree with a court order ... are clearly a danger to society and they should not expect mercy...To compound matters, the accused is not an ordinary citizen, but was a highly-ranked police officer. He was an expert in the use of a firearm, having been using it for the past 18 years...”

“We, however, do accept that there were compelling factors in mitigation. The accused is therefore spared the agony of capital punishment, but instead is sentenced to life imprisonment,” justice Bere ruled.

According to the State, Masuna’s security company was hired by Blessing Ndiweni who had just received an eviction order to vacate the mine. Ndiweni was locked in a wrangle with Wilson Nyamiwa over the ownership of the mine.

On December 9, 2014, the High Court granted an order in favour of Nyamiwa and two days later, the Deputy Sheriff moved to the mine to evict Ndiweni’s workers and remove his miming equipment, prosecutor Sifiso Ndlovu-Sibanda told the court.

The court heard that when Ndiweni heard of the eviction order, he rushed to Manifest Security Company and requested five security guards to be deployed to Zulu Mine. On arrival at around midnight, he discovered that there was a dispute over the ownership of the mine.

The court further heard that Masuna took a Norinco pistol from one of his guards and went towards the new occupants with his guards and fired a shot that hit Mudenda in the upper part of his chest and the bullet exited through the upper left hand arm.

Comments (1)

The people who are in lead of wilfully disobeying court orders are mostly in the senior political leadership of this country.For example Chinotimba declared that he and his colleagues Chimene are to convene an elective conference to elect a new leadership of the association to replace Mutsvanga's executive in defiance of a court ruling which said they should not masquerade as leaders of war veterans association.

Gen. Spinola - 11 August 2016

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