THE fate of the alleged murderer of Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali, Pius Jamba, is drawing closer, with High Court judge Esther Muremba expected to hand down judgement on 27 November.
Jamba’s trial began earlier this month with him denying allegations.
The suspect told Justice Muremba that he was made a sacrificial lamb to cool down political tensions in Nyatsime area which followed the death of Ali.
Ali went missing on 24 May last year following an alleged altercation with Jamba, and was never seen alive until her decomposing decapitated body was found on 11 June 2022 dumped in a well at Lina Mukandi’s homestead in Beatrice.
When his trial commenced, Jamba denied the murder allegations, telling the High Court that he was coerced into admitting by his arresting details.
Although he is alleged to be the one who was last seen with Ali, Jamba said he did not know her, further stating that he did not even know she was the owner of the dog he kicked at the nightclub where the altercation arose.
“l am alleged to have killed a person…l was told her name is Moreblessing Ali,” Mukandi said while being led by his lawyer, Garikai Mhishi.
“This is your opportunity to tell the court what transpired. Are you able to tell us about the murder of Moreblessing Ali?” Mhishi asked.
He replied: “The day l was alleged to have killed the person, l was at my mother’s homestead and l then decided to go and buy some alcohol. I started buying the alcohol at Dhliwayo’s bar at around 11am. It was a 750mls bottle but l don’t remember the name of the alcohol,” Mukandi narrated.
“After buying. l proceeded to my girlfriend’s homestead and on the way l decided to pass through Chibhanguza nightclub and it was around 12 midday.
“l drank beer there until midnight,” Mukandi said. Jamba also said he was joined by other drinkers but did not know their names as he had met them on that day for the first time. The suspect said he finished two 750ml bottles of Two Keys brandy. Mukandi said he was then invited to go to a toilet by the same people he was drinking with to smoke crystal meth (mutoriro). He said he went back to the bar and sat before he stood up to dance to music in the bar
“l then stood up stretching my legs and started dancing to the music. While dancing, l saw a dog and kicked it, asking whose dog it was. When l kicked the dog, some patrons started attacking me, saying why had I attacked the dogs. l could hear their voices asking since l was drunk.
“l managed to escape from those attackers with the intention of going home. As l was making my way home l noticed three individuals following me.
“l then stopped and they came close to where l was. They asked about why l kicked the dog,” Mukandi said before his lawyer interrupted, asking him to describe the three people he saw following him. “There were two men and a woman who was drunk and powerless. The two men pushed that woman and she grabbed my shirt. I do not know these men since it was dark or managed to see what they were wearing,” Mukandi said.
He said they asked him to walk with the woman, whom he now believed was Ali, for a distance, saying they were moving behind them moving slowly.
“I walked for about two kilometres and l noticed she had no power and she was supported by the way she was holding me,” Mukandi said Mhishi asked him why he accepted to walk with someone he did not know for two kilometres. He replied that he was drunk and he feared those men who were following them.
“After some walking, she just let go of my shirt and she fell down. When l saw her down, l took advantage and walked home.”
He said that was the last time he saw Ali. He said in the morning he then went to harvest maize for their neighbour for money and after getting his money he had plans to go to Hurungwe where he proceeded when he got his money.
Jamba said his sister later told him that there were police officers looking for him. The suspect said he handed himself to the police before he was transported back to the capital. He said he was given a paper to write what had transpired on 24 May.
“l then wrote that on 24 May, l kicked a dog in a bar and a lot of people attacked me. I then managed to escape home. l also wrote that l saw some individual following behind me,” Mukandi said.
He said the officers accused him of lying and assaulted him badly, demanding that he release the knife he used in killing Ali and cutting her remains and also the catapult but he denied having those.
Mukandi said investigating officer Arimon Mirimbo told him that he caused a war in Nyatsime where they said Job Sikhala was fighting Zanu PF because he accused them of killing Ali.
He said he was then forced to admit, before a video of him making indications was recorded after he had initially been taken to different spots for familiarisation.
The court heard that the distance from where Ali was murdered to the well where her body was located is about 6 kilometres.
“The distance was almost 6 kilometres and l was actually surprised that the police officer would think l would carry the body to the well and cover the distance three times.”
He said he was made to rehearse the indications. Police detective Simbarashe Maruziva testified and also confirmed the distance from the spot Ali was killed to the well where her body was found.
Maruzuva told court that Mukandi walked 6 kilometres on three occasions the same night to make the total distance covered 36 kilometres, a submission that stunned the public gallery in court. “I admitted to the offence under camera on indication because l was under the authority that was harassing me at the time.
“l am actually in pain because l did not commit this offence,” Mukandi said.
Ali’s remains remain unburied after her family refused to do so following the arrest of their lawyer Job Sikhala who was helping them following Ali’s disappearance.
Sikhala has been in detention at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison sinc3 mid-Kune 2022 for allegedly inciting public violence to avenge Ali’s death. — STAFF WRITER