SC 36-14 - NDLOVU & GADZIRA v THE STATE

  1.  FARAI LAWRENCE NDLOVU (2)WELLINGTON GADZIRA         

v

THE STATE

SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE

ZIYAMBI JA, GARWE JA & HLATSHWAYO JA

BULAWAYO, MAY 8, 2014

Mr T Muganyi, for the first appellant

Mr F Museta, for the second appellant

Mr T Hove, for the respondent

HLATSWAYO JA:      The appellants Farai Lawrence Ndlovu and Wellington Gadzira, aged twenty-three and thirty-seven years respectively, at the time of the commission of the offence and were arraigned before the High Court sitting at Gweru Circuit on 22 May 2012 on two counts of murder as defined in s 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Cap 9:23].  It is alleged they killed one Michael Sunderland (“first deceased”) and Geoffrey Andrew Willian Povey (“second deceased”) who were aged thirty-seven and sixty-five years respectively at the time of their death.   

The appellants pleaded not guilty but after a full trial they were both convicted of murder with constructive intent in respect of the first deceased and of murder with actual intent in respect of the second deceased.  The trial court, finding no extenuating circumstances, passed the sentence of death upon both appellants.  The appellants having an automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court filed this appeal against both conviction and sentence. 

No grounds of appeal were filed with respect to the first appellant, counsel being of the view that no meaningful submissions could be advanced to assist this appellant.  For the second appellant only one ground of appeal was proffered challenging the sentence imposed as “excessive”.  However even counsel for the second appellant in his heads of argument conceded that the conviction and sentence were proper and there was no misdirection on the part of the trial court.  At the hearing of this appeal both Mr T Muganyi, for the appellant, Mr F Museta, for the second appellant submitted, and correctly so in my view, that they had no meaningful arguments to place before the court to assist their respective clients.

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