By Staff Reporter
HARARE: A pub owner was recently caged for an effective 15 years following conviction for strangling his customer to death over rowdy behaviour.
Talent Nyamombe was jailed by High Court judge Justice Moses Foroma after a full trial during which he denied killing his client Benjamin Chandimhara, insisting that the latter committed suicide.
Chandimhara was found hanging from the ceiling in Nyamombe’s bar on December 23 2016.
A postmortem confirmed that he did not die from strangulation, pointing to the fact that he was dead before before he was hanged.
The State proved that on 23 December 2016, the deceased Chandimhara went to Gute Nite Club in Ziko Dema after having left his house in over a week without notifying his wife of his whereabouts.
According to evidence presented in court by witnesses identified as Kurai Chota, Fradreck Muzoriwa and Nomsa Besa, before his death, the deceased conducted himself in a rowdy manner and got in various altercations in the bar.
It was Muzoriwa’s evidence that around the early hours of the morning, Chandimhara got into a physical altercation with some of the patrons in the bar.
It was during the fight that he threw a chair and missed the target, hitting a table which broke down.
Court heard this prompted Nyamombe to close the bar early, complaining that Chandimhara had damaged his property but refused to pay for the damaged.
Witnesses also said Nyamombe vowed that Chandimhara would not get away with what he had done.
Court heard Nyamombe dismissed everyone else from the club but forced Chandimhara to remain behind.
Chandimhara was found hanged the following day.
Court was convinced that Nyamombe killed Chandimhara.
“According to the pathologist’s testimony, the deceased did not die from strangulation, nor did he die from complete hanging.
“Accused prevented the deceased from leaving the bar and only the accused can explain what happened to the deceased after he remained in the bar which had been closed.
“The pathologist did not find evidence of self hanging in this case.
“Be that as it may, the accused’s story is not believable.In fact, it does not have any ring of truth and is self contradictory .
“The court finds that the accused’s defence is beyond doubt false and one which was fabricated in an effort to escape blame for the deceased’s death.”
Nyamombe, through his lawyer Fortune Murisi, has since filed an appeal against conviction and sentence at the Supreme Court.
He denied the version of events presented in court, claiming that Chandimhara had asked him for a place to sleep as he was afraid of being beaten by the people he had provoked.
He further claimed that he was also shocked to find Chandimhara hanging the following morning.