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Man Jailed 8 years for killing suspected chicken thief

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A MAN from Nkayi who fatally struck a fellow villager with a log after he found him in his fowl run at night has been jailed for eight years.

Melusi Mgcini Ncube (30) was woken up by some noise emanating from his fowl run and upon investigation stumbled upon Tafadzwa Tafireyi, who was 31 at the time of his death, coming out.

After failing to get a response on the identity of the person, Ncube struck him twice on the head, killing him.

He was convicted of a lesser charge of culpable homicide when he appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva during the second term of the Hwange High Circuit last week.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison of which two years were conditionally suspended, meaning he will serve an effective six years. Justice Takuva blasted Ncube for taking the law into his own hands, resulting in the unnecessary loss of life.

“Object of sentence should be both deterrent and reformatory, it should also deter the public from killing thieves. If we allow thieves to be killed at will this will be the law of the jungle where there will be no rule of law. Therefore the appropriate sentence meeting the justice of this case should be imposed. You are hereby sentenced to eight years imprisonment of which two years are conditionally suspended,” said Justice Takuva.

The court heard that on 30 January this year at about 10pm Ncube, who was in his bedroom hut preparing to sleep, heard noise of a falling pot outside. He went outside to investigate but did not see anything and went back to bed.

After a while Ncube heard footsteps outside before arming himself with a log and proceeding to investigate. He then saw Tafireyi coming out of a fowl run before asking him to identify himself. However, Tafireyi remained mum, resulting in Ncube striking him twice in the head using the log. Tafireyi, who was not carrying anything, ran towards the fields but collapsed and died after a short distance. Mrs Charlene Gorerino appeared for the State.-Sunday news

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