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18 years for diamond heist

A young man has been slapped with an 18-year jail term for the brutal murder of an illegal diamond dealer he and his fugitive accomplice stabbed 29 times in Odzi, Marange.

Although he was still a minor when he committed the heinous crime last year in January, the High Court treated Shoorai Gwenzi as an adult due to his conduct.

The court noted that at the time he committed the crime, Gwenzi was now fending for himself.

Justice Isaac Muzenda found him guilty of murder with constructive intent as defined in Section 47 (1)(a) or (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23.

Principal public prosecutor, Mrs Tinashe Mugwagwa, said Gwenzi from Muzite Village under Chief Gwenzi in Mozambique murdered Liberty Dadirai Chimonyo, together with his accomplice, Dzidzai Nyangovere.

Mrs Mugwagwa said Gwenzi and Nyangovere disguised themselves as diamond dealers and lured the now late Chimonyo to the banks of Odzi River.

The court heard that one of them had a tiff with Chimonyo stemming from a previous botched diamond deal.

The two violently murdered Chimonyo and quickly went into hiding, but homicide detectives tracked down Gwenzi via a cellphone call and arrested him.

“On January 19, 2020, Chimonyo was at home with his friend, Crispen Foroma (42), when he received a phone call from Shylet Denhe of Muyedzengwa Village under Chief Marange, Mutare.

“Denhe asked Chimonyo to speak to the two accused persons and they told him that they were selling a six-carat diamond. They invited Chimonyo to Muyedzengwa Village to view the precious stone,” Mrs Magwagwa said.

Chimoyo proceeded to Muyedzengwa Village in the company of Foroma.

Chimonyo and Foroma parked their motor vehicle about 400 metres from Odzi River on the Nenhohwe-Nyanyadzi side.

The now deceased Chimonyo phoned Denhe and she informed him that Gwenzi and Nyangovere were on their way to meet him at the river. 

“Chimonyo handed over the car keys to Foroma. He crossed the river alone to meet the accused persons.

“Foroma saw Chimonyo meeting the two accused persons on the other side of the river before they walked to a secluded place.

“After about 20 minutes, Foroma heard Chimonyo screaming for help and he rushed to where the voice was coming from. He met the two suspects running towards him and asked them about Chimonyo’s whereabouts. They told him that Chimonyo had been attacked by some robbers and continued running,” said Mrs Mugwagwa.

Foroma found Chimonyo lying under a tree groaning in pain.

Chimonyo revealed to his friend that he had been attacked by the two suspects.

As Foroma was trying to help, Keleb Chinowaita, who resides nearby, arrived at the scene to offer some help.

The duo carried Chimonyo to the parked motor vehicle.

Upon arrival, Foroma noticed that the driver’s window had been broken. Chimonyo’s cellphone and Foroma’s wallet were missing.

Foroma and Chinowaita drove Chimonyo to Nyanyadzi Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Two Okapi knives which were used to stab Chimonyo were recovered at the crime scene.

On February 1, 2020, detectives received information that Chimonyo’s cellphone was being used by Chivous Muyedzengwa of Machangwa Village, Marange.

They reacted to the information, thereby leading to the recovery of the cellphone.

Muyedzengwa told the cops that he had bought the cellphone from Gwenzi.

Gwenzi was arrested on February 5, 2020. Manica Post

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