Death row prisoner attacks magistrate

A 39-YEAR-OLD Chikombedzi prisoner on death row for murder, caused a stir at the Chiredzi regional court last week after he refused to stand trial and shouted obscenities at the presiding regional magistrate, before jumping out of the dock and throwing a chair that narrowly missed the prosecutor’s face.

Chiredzi regional magistate Mrs Judith Zuyu was left frozen in her chair after Clemence Mumanyi of Hamamaoko Business Centre in Chikombedzi, threatened to beat her up and others in the courtroom as he refused to stand trial for 13 counts of armed robbery committed in July 2008.

Mumanyi, who was in leg irons when he appeared before Mrs Zuyu, said he was already as good as a dead person, hence there was no need for him to be tried for armed robbery.

He had been brought to the Chiredzi regional court from Harare to face pending cases of armed robbery. He is on death row in a Harare jail after being sentenced to death by a High Court judge in 2012 for shooting dead the then Chiredzi district Central Intelligence Organisation head Mr Regis Dongonda.

Mumanyi was sentenced to hang at the Masvingo High Court circuit court for killing Mr Dongonda outside Chishamiso beerhall in Chiredzi, as he was trying to steal the latter’s vehicle.

Before running amok in court, Mumanyi had made an unsuccessful application before the Chiredzi regional magistrate seeking his armed robbery trial to be heard in Masvingo on the grounds that the entire Chiredzi community was against him because of the crimes he committed in the area.


However, Mrs Zuyu said there was no evidence that Mumanyi would not get a fair trial before dismissing his application. This incensed him and he went on a rampage.

After shouting obscenities and threatening to beat up Mrs Zuyu and others in the courtroom, Mumanyi then jumped out of the dock and threw a chair that narrowly missed prosecutor Ms Moreblessing Rusere on the face before bolting out of the courtroom leaving everyone stunned.

He demanded to be sent back to the holding cells and the prison officers complied.

Mrs Zuyu ruled that his trial would continue in absentia after the State invoked section 194 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

The trial is continuing before Mrs Zuyu with the State leading evidence from witnesses lined up to testify against Mumanyi who has since been transferred to Mutimurefu Prison in Masvingo, enroute to Harare where he is on death row.

Armed robbery allegations against Mumanyi arose after he, together with his unidentified accomplices from Mozambique, went on a rampage in the sugar cane growing town stealing vehicles at gun point.

Mumanyi and his colleagues allegedly descended on Chiredzi on several occasions in July 2008, armed with an AK47 rifle, and stole 13 different vehicles which they took to Mozambique.

Among the vehicles stolen by the gang are: Land Cruisers, Hardbody trucks, which they smuggled out of the country to an unknown location in Mozambique.

Mumanyi was arrested by police after a botched armed robbery attempt, which resulted in him shooting dead Mr Dongonda outside a beerhall in Chiredzi.

His accomplices fled the scene and are still on the run.-Chronicle