Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Chinhoyi murder suspect in court

Chinhoyi murder suspect in court

Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
The man accused of killing a Chinhoyi farmer and robbing him of his car, cash and clothes was a fugitive from justice after a conviction for stocktheft a month ago, it has emerged. Kudakwashe Nduma (24) was on a warrant of arrest after being convicted and sentenced to 10 months in prison for stock theft in May, of which two months were suspended for three years on condition of good behaviour.

Another three months were suspended on condition that he restituted the complainant in the matter involving $50 by May 30. The remaining five months were set aside on condition that Nduma performed 175 hours of community service at East Range Primary School.

However, he defaulted on all the conditions and had been on a warrant of arrest. He appeared for initial remand before Chinhoyi magistrate, Mrs Brenda Dhliwayo, who pronounced the immediate reinstatement of the earlier sentence.

It has also emerged that Nduma was alone when he hijacked Mr Gardner Bertram’s car, of Sunningdale Old People’s home after being given a lift on the pretext that he wanted to go to Chinhoyi town where Bertram (90) resided.

He had initially indicated to the police that he was helped in killing Mr Bertram by a man known only as Nhema but investigations by the police show that Nhema was last seen at East Range Farm in March.

Nduma, who stayed at the same East Range Farm where Mr Bertram had gone before disappearing for three days, asked for a ride as he saw him leave for Chinhoyi. He allegedly convinced him along the way that his vehicle was making some noise associated with a mechanical fault.

Mr Bertram stopped the vehicle to investigate the “noise” and Nduma took advantage of that to strangle him with the T-shirt he was wearing, which he later stuffed into his mouth to stop him from screaming.

He force-marched him into a bushy area about 30 metres from the Chinhoyi-Baguta Road, where he allegedly struck him once on the head with a boulder. Nduma stripped him of his clothes, cellphone, a wallet with $250, bank cards, national identity particulars and a driver’s licence before driving off in the Ford Ranger truck.

It has also since emerged that Nduma was unlicensed. He sold the vehicle to one Gweshe Ganda, who detectives caught up with while parked outside Pote Bottle Store at Chinhoyi Rank shops on June 24.

On being questioned, he led police to Nduma’s girlfriend’s house in Cold Stream suburb where a trap was set, leading to his arrest. He was wearing Mr Bertram’s khaki shorts, his black jersey and identity particulars were found in the room.

Magistrate Ms Dhliwayo remanded Nduma in custody to July 8 before advising him to apply for bail at the High Court as the courts had no jurisdiction over such serious offences.

Mr Rummage Isaac appeared for the state.

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