Man jailed 20 years for murdering 73-year-old
Chief Court Reporter
A Marondera man who fatally assaulted a 73-year-old man accusing him of speaking English, which he did not fully understand, has been jailed for 20 years.
Anyway Pondo (20) was irritated by Langton Mandibvira’s manner of speaking and reacted by beating him to a pulp. He was charged with murder along with Keith Matanewa (21) of Southlawn Farm following the death of Mandibvira, who succumbed to injuries sustained from the assault.
They denied the murder when their trial began at the High Court before Justice Lucie-Anne Mungwari sitting with assessors. Matanewa was cleared of the murder at the close of the State’s case as there was not enough evidence to show was involved in the killing and in fact had tried to stop his companion from beating the old man to death.
After a fully contested trial, the court found that the State proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against Pondo and convicted him of murder in aggravating circumstances.
In passing the 20-year sentence, Justice Mungwari considered that Pondo mercilessly bludgeoned the drunk and defenceless 73-year-old to death after taking offence from his manner of speaking.
“The savagery and barbarism of the attack was unmitigated, and the accused gave the deceased no chance for survival,” said Justice Mungwari. “The accused was determined to kill the deceased and did not take heed of his companion’s pleas to desist from his aggression towards a defenceless geriatric.”
Earlier on, in her judgment, Justice Mungwari noted that Pondo’s fate was sealed when medical evidence found the death was caused by Pondo’s action.
According to the medical report, Mandibvira suffered a head trauma and brain damage, likely to have been caused by a blunt object and this was corroborated by the witnesses’ testimonies of how the deceased sustained mortal injuries.
A fellow villager, who witnessed the incident, went and informed fellow villagers, resulting in a police report being made. Mandibvira was taken to Marondera Provincial Hospital where he was admitted.
His condition later deteriorated and he was transferred to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, where he died 13 days after admission, having suffered a painful death.