Tendai Gukutikwa Court Correspondent
A ZIMBABWE National Army officer, Whatmore Chikukwa became a member of the Johane Masowe Apostolic church in a vain effort to save himself from the murder crime he had committed in August 2015.
Chikukwa, who fatally attacked a night club patron and left him with intestines protruding from the stomach, was last Friday convicted of murder. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by High Court Judge, Justice Charles Hungwe.
His co-accused and also members of the Zimbabwe National Army, Simeon Chisiya and Courage Kafanda, were acquitted of the murder charges as evidence presented in court proved that they were not involved in the fatal assault.
In sentencing him, Justice Hungwe, said Chikukwa deserved a stiffer custodial sentence since society shuns people who put the law into their own hands.
“The heartless manner in which you handled and assaulted the deceased cannot be ignored. It is people like you who deserve to be locked up and be rehabilitated,” said Justice Hungwe.
Manicaland area prosecutor, Ms Jane-Rose Matsikidze prosecuted.
Ms Matsikidze had told the court that Chikukwa, Chisiya and Kafanda arrived at the night club at around 11pm and asked the security guard to identify Dongo Sawmill Football Club supporters who had allegedly assaulted soldiers the previous weekend.
“After failing to locate any, the trio went into the club to enjoy themselves. After five minutes, Chikukwa, Chisiya and Kafanda had a scuffle with Shenje. They dragged him out of the club and attacked him with fists and empty bottles. The guard and other onlookers tried restrained them,” said Ms Matsikidze.
After the guard’s intervention, the three left the club and proceeded to a nearby drinking hole and returned after a few minutes. They bumped into Shenje who demanded to know why they had assaulted him.
“Chikukwa assaulted Shenje again. Shenje ran towards Max Village with Chikukwa in hot pursuit, while Chisinda and Kafanda pursued to restrain Chikukwa.
“When Chikukwa caught up with Shenje, he stabbed him and ripped open his stomach using a broken bottle. Shenje was rushed to Rusape General Hospital where he died upon admission,” said Ms Matsikidze.