|Curtain comes down on Chani's murder case|
|Sunday, 08 July 2012 18:42|
HIGH Court judge, Justice Hlekani Mwayera, was yesterday (Thursday) scheduled to hand down judgment in the high profile murder case in which ex-police officer, Joseph Chani, is alleged to have fatally assaulted an alleged illegal diamond panner at Chiadzwa last year.
The case, which was full of drama, tension and tears, began last Monday when the second circuit of the High Court opened in Mutare.
It attracted a big crowd, with the numbers swelling by the day and on Tuesday there were a few disturbances when some members of the public who were eager to witness proceedings occupied seats reserved for prison officers, leaving the officers escorting the accused Chani with nowhere to seat.
However, court officials intervened and restored order.
In presenting its final submissions, the State led by Ms Jane-Rose Matsikidze urged the court to convict Chani of murder with constructive intent.
She said as per the evidence produced in court and the testimonies by the State witnesses, it was collaborative that Chani assaulted the deceased Tsorosai Kusena, his brothers, Pikirayi and Onesai, as well as their nephew, John Gwite.
She said it was possible that Chani did not have the intention to kill, but he should have seen it coming in view of the manner he assaulted Kusena and the three complainants.
"The attack was brutal," she said.
Ms Matiskidze said Dr Kasongo's testimony confirmed the assault and the cause of the death as traumatic shock.
She said the injuries sustained by the complainants and the deceased were consistent with an assault by the weapon (stick) suggested in court.
"Three different doctors who examined the other three complainants - Pikirayi, Onesai and Gwite - wrote reports that were in confirmation with Dr Kasongo's post mortem results and they indicated that the sustained injuries had high risk to life."
Ms Matsikidze said it was absurd for the defence counsel to posit a general conspiracy against the accused by members of the uniformed forces.
"It is absurd and a bit far-fetched, how can civilians, soldiers and police officers conspire against the accused person? If the evidence was cooked up, why against the accused in particular, yet there were other senior officers at the base," she argued.
To this end, Ms Matsikidze dismissed the conspiracy theory, saying all civilians who gave evidence in court had no business in police affairs and there was no need for them to tell the court lies.
The State also presented that if indeed, as per the submissions of the defence counsel, that the complainants sustained life threatening injuries at the hands of Mbada Diamond guards, how could the 'injured' complainants run for more than 4km with police officers in hot pursuit?
Through his lawyer, Mr Takesure Thondhlanga of Thondhlanga and Associates Legal Practitioners, Chani urged the court to acquit him or that he be charged with a lesser charge of culpable homicide.
Mr Thondhlanga said there were many discrepancies among the State witnesses and that alone showed that the witnesses were fabricating evidence.
When he gave evidence last week, Chani disclosed that there was a conspiracy within the police to nail him down.
He castigated Chief Superintendent Dorcas Nyadenga and the junior police officers for testifying against him, saying the allegations were cooked up.
Chani told the court that Chief Supt Nyadenga flouted the indications procedures and argued that she was too junior to be involved in "this high-level case" where conspiracy was at play.
Commenting on the pictures of Kusena taken at the scene that showed his swollen body, Chani left the court in stitches when he answered that the doctor made a post-mortem on the wrong person to cook up evidence.
He said while pursuing their conspiracy against him, the police gave Dr Kasongo instructions to observe a wrong person and concluded that Kusena died of assault, yet in real fact it was the body of another person.