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ZiZimbabwe: Man caged 35 for murder of a 90 year old woman

12.04.2024 | By Mary Taruvinga

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High Court judge, Justice Lucy Mungwari has slapped one Godknows Ringoziva with a 35-year jail term following his conviction for killing a 93-year-old Chivhu woman before he stole her belongings.

Ringoziva was jailed after a full trial during which he denied being anywhere close to the crime scene on January 14 2023 when the victim was killed.

However, the State managed to prove that he was the one who committed the offence as supported by evidence before the court.

Mungwari ruled that after considering all the factors presented the conclusion was that the murder was senseless such that a stiff penalty was necessary.

“The loss of life due to greed and the presence of multiple aggravating factors make the murder senseless and extremely brutal such that a higher sentence than the mandatory penalty of (20) years imprisonment is called for.

“The act of murdering another person is heinous on its own. This act must have sent shockwaves in the rural areas of Chambare Manyane.

“There is no doubt that this caused emotional distress to the deceased’s family and loved ones.

“Human life was unnecessarily lost in cruel circumstances and no amount of punishment can bring back the life of the deceased,” said the judge.

Mungwari said how the murder was committed increased Ringoziva’s moral blameworthiness.

“The only saving grace for the offender’s moral blameworthiness is that he is a youthful first offender who suffered pre-trial incarceration of one year.

“There is little or no risk that he will re-offend. It is our considered view that a sentence of 35 years imprisonment will suit the instance of justice in this case,” she ruled.

Ringoziva was arrested a month after being on the run.

The state proved that on the night of 14 January 2023 at Kanengoni village Chambare Manyene in Chivhu, Ringoziva broke into the deceased’s home motivated by a desire to steal.

The deceased, a 93-year-old, lived alone at the homestead.

She walked in on him as he was in the process of ransacking her house and she confronted him.

Ringoziva elbowed her out of the way and assaulted her with her walking stick.

He then took the deceased’s blanket and covered her with it subsequently using it to suffocate her to death.

Unmoved he stole her possessions, among them groceries, a cellphone as well as a blanket.

The court heard Ringoziva packed the property into three sacks, loaded them into her wheelbarrow, wheeled the deceased’s property away from her premises, and escaped into the night.

He was identified by Anderson Kashora as he made his way to the bus stop and by Taurai Nyandiro as he boarded a commuter omnibus en route to Chivhu town.

About a month later the offender was arrested in Mutasa before he was taken to court charged with murder.

He denied allegations arguing that he was in Mutasa when the crime was committed.

He also said he had arrived there on 5 January 2023 and had never left Mutasa district until his arrest in February 2023.

However, the proven facts of the matter were as already stated above.

The judge said this was a brutal murder of a defenseless nonagenarian without any provocation.

“The offender did not give the deceased any chance of survival as evidenced by the deceased falling attempting to crawl to safety and then the offender returning to finish her off by snuffing the little life left out of her with a blanket.

“The examining pathologist said the deceased was old and frail.

“She stood no chance against the fierce strength of her twenty-eight-year-old attacker. She must have died a frightened woman.”


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