A Victoria Falls man who last year fatally struck a Hwange Rural District councillor with a brick for telling him not to disturb a meeting he was chairing will spend 35 years in prison after being convicted of murder with actual intent.
Phinnias Dennis Thebe, a councillor for Monde Ward was chairing a meeting at Monde Business Centre when he was attacked by Admire Ndlovu with a brick for refusing to entertain him.
Ndlovu (38) of Monde village, Victoria Falls was convicted of murder with actual intent by Bulawayo High court judge Justice, Maxwell Takuva during the second term of the Hwange circuit.
Passing sentence Justice Takuva described the murder of Thebe who was aged 47 as “brutal and callous.”
“Even though you were drunk and as a court we accept that intoxication can have an effect on a person’s conduct, however, your conduct resulted in unnecessary loss of life. Deceased tried to flee but you waylaid and killed him.
“The murder was executed in a brutal and callous manner as deceased was an innocent man minding his own business. The court notes that there was an element of pre-meditation in that you left and returned armed. The court has realised that you are a danger to society and did not show contrition for what you had done,” said Justice Takuva.
He said murder is a serious crime that attracts the death penalty or life imprisonment.
“The court has a duty to guard the sanctity of life and a deterrent sentence should be passed. You are therefore sentenced to an effective 35 years in prison,” said Justice Takuva.
Ndlovu through his pro deo lawyer, a D. Ncube from Legal Aid Directorate had pleaded not guilty to murder, preferring a limited plea of culpable homicide arguing that he was drunk and had acted in self-defence.
“Deceased chased accused while punching him. Deceased then came running towards him and accused thought that he was coming to attack him once more. Accused in a fit of rage picked up a brick and swung it towards the deceased and never saw what happened next.
“He was trying to avert another attack and will submit that he acted because he had been provoked earlier on,” said Ncube.
The court heard that on 24 November 2017 at around 8:30PM Thebe was chairing a water connection meeting with Morgan Dube, Langton Nkomo and Walter Ncube in a room at Banyai Bottlestore, at Monde Business Centre in Victoria Falls.
During the meeting Ndlovu stormed into the room and asked to talk to Thebe.
Thebe, the court heard, told him he was he was disturbing the meeting.
Ndlovu kept pestering the deceased arguing that he wanted to seek audience with Nkomo resulting in Thebe dragging him out of the room. Ndlovu returned to the room after several minutes armed with a brick before threatening to assault Thebe.
“Sensing impending danger deceased escaped out of the room using the back door with Ndlovu, who used the front door, hot on his heels. He charged towards deceased armed with a brick and struck him with it once on the left side of the head. Deceased fell to the ground unconscious.
Ndlovu fled from the scene and deceased was found lying lifeless with a deep cut on his head by his revellers who had followed up the commotion.