HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
MATHONSI AND TAKUVA JJ
BULAWAYO 14 MAY 2018 AND 17 MAY 2018
K Ngwenya for 1st the appellant
2nd and 3rd appellants in default
Ms N Ndlovu for the respondent
MATHONSI J: The three appellants, who have appealed separately, were jointly charged with two counts of stocktheft at Binga Magistrate Court. Although they all pleaded not guilty, they were convicted in respect of both counts following a full trial and each sentenced to 25 years imprisonment of which 5 years imprisonment was suspended for 5 years on condition of future good behaviour.
They have appealed against both conviction and sentence. The first appellant’s main ground of appeal is that he was wrongly convicted on the basis of the evidence of his two co-accused who testified that they had bought the four herd of cattle belonging to the two complainants from him and he had assisted them to drive the cattle from Binga to Gokwe North, a distance of over 100km.
The second and third appellants’ grounds of appeal centre on that their defence of having purchased the beasts from the first appellant who had assured them that they were his should stand. In addition, they assert that there was an improper separation of charges as the one head in count one and the three head in count two were stolen on the same day at the same place. As such this was one criminal act constituting one count.