Mutare man sentenced to life in prison for killing a police officer

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A Mutare man has been given a life sentence following a conviction for murdering a police officer, Nicholas Chirengwa who was investigating a case against him.


Mike Zinyemba was jailed by Mutare High Court judge, Justice Isaac Muzenda who ruled that he does not deserve to go back to the community.


“I am aware that the deceased was a police constabulary and was killed during the tour of duty in upholding the rule of law.


“The post-mortem report shows that the deceased’s head was brutally, mercilessly and ruthlessly smashed and that caused his death.


“The murder was heart-wrenching, barbaric and well-orchestrated.


“Accused did not value life at all and showed no sign of civilisation, he behaved like one bred during the dark ages,” said the judge.


The judge also took into consideration the fact that Zinyemba, on three occasions resisted law enforcement agencies and firearms had to be used.


“This is very aggravatory. During the trial, the accused was not candid with the court and chose to lie trying to mislead the court as to the cause of death of the now deceased.


“He did not show remorse over what he had done and wanted to portray a picture that he was the victim, not the aggressor.


“The accused killed a defenceless police detail during daylight and tried further to evade the long arm of the law by hiding in the mountains and running away from the police.


“I had seriously considered capital punishment but the youthful age of the accused heavily weighed in his favour.


“However accused does not deserve to live nor go back into society. He must be removed from it,” ruled the judge.


Prosecutors proved that on 16 December 2021, at around 0800 hours, Chirengwa who was a police constabulary, accompanied by two fellow police constabularies, Nyasha Shaibo and White Kanjalo proceeded to Zinyemba’s residence to make inquiries of stock theft.


Upon arrival, the trio informed the accused of the purpose of their visit.


Zinyemba then told the three to leave his homestead.


He was armed with a machete.


The three officers did not leave Zinyemba’s premises.


Zinyemba then charged at the three, picked up a stone and threw it towards Chirengwa who was hit on the head.


Chirengwa collapsed as his colleagues retreated while Zinyemba pursued the pair.


He could not catch up with the two and he resolved to abandon the chase, he returned to where Chirengwa had fallen.


The court heard Zinyemba picked yet another larger stone, went near the helpless deceased and crushed his head.


He then fled the scene.


After fleeing from the accused’s homestead Shaibo and Kanjalo rushed to the village head and gave him a report.


On 18 December 2021, police raided Zinyemba’s homestead, but they did not find him.


He was later found by police details fishing at a river.


Zinyemba tried to run away but police fired warning shots. He was then arrested and police recovered a machete and an okapi knife.


The state summary also confirms Zinyemba’s version that on a particular day after Chirengwa’s death, the police raided his house at night and tried to apprehend him.


He was violent and was resultantly shot on the lower limbs but managed to escape.

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