By Nyore Madzianike
A former security guard at Ratelshock Tea Estate in Chipinge was sentenced to an effective six months in jail for fatally shooting a suspect who had allegedly stolen irrigation pipes at his workplace.
Edson Phillemon Mlambo was initially jailed for three years when he appeared before Mutare High Court judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera charged with culpable homicide.
Justice Mwayera suspended two-and-a-half years of his sentence on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within five years.
Circumstances leading to Mlambo’s arrest were that on June 7 last year, at around 2200hrs, the now deceased teamed up with Prosper Chidawaenzi, Saimonyo Kumbula, Dakarai Sauti, Elias and Lazurus Sundai and connived to steal irrigation pipes at Ratelshock Tea Estate.
They then proceeded to the farm in a truck, with registration number AEB 2099.
It was the State’s case that the gang loaded irrigation pipes onto the truck and drove off.
Jefrey Muradzikwa, a guard at the farm, saw the truck loaded with the pipes and alerted Mlambo who took a shotgun loaded with five pellets and gave chase with the estate manager Clifford Mashava in a Ford Ranger truck ACM 2236.
The court heard that the now deceased and his accomplices jumped off the truck and took to their heels.
Mlambo fired warning shots in the air, but none of the suspected thieves stopped.
He then shot the now deceased twice before he was rushed to Chipinge Hospital where he died on June 8.
In another matter, a man from Plot 41 Manda Village under Chief Makoni in Rusape appeared before the same court on charges of killing his employer.
Cosmos Choko appeared at Mutare High Court facing allegations of striking Kelvin Mutambanuki with a hoe on the head three times.
In his bail application, Choko admitted to the charges, but told the court that he was mentally challenged during the time he allegedly committed the offence.
His sentiments forced the court to change his plea to not guilty.
Justice Mwayera remanded Choko in custody pending trial, saying he still needed management and rehabilitation.