Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Martin Makonese, has sentenced a gold panner to 18 years in prison for stabbing his cousin twice on the chest with a knife in a fight over gold ore at Arizona 74 Mine, Matobo in Gweru.
Passmore Musanika (28) of Nemangwe Village, Gokwe South, appeared before Justice Makonese who is sitting at the Gweru High Court Circuit, facing one count of murder.
Musanika pleaded not guilty to the charge.
He was, however, convicted of murder with actual intent after a full trial and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Justice Makonese said Musanika deserved a lengthy prison stay but had been in custody since his arrest in August 2018 as the key State witnesses were not being found.
“There has been a surge in murders in the mining communities and it is the courts’ duty to pass lengthy custodial sentences to deter would-be offenders,” he said.
Prosecutor Mr. Mirirai Shumba told the court that the now deceased Jaison (34), was Passmore’s cousin who also stayed in the same village as the accused.
On August 27, 2018 at around 4PM at Arizona 74 Mine, Matobo, Gweru, Mr. Shumba said, Jaison was in the company of his cousin Hardlife on their way to the shops.
The court heard that the accused person approached Jaison and accused him of having stolen his gold ore.
Mr. Shumba said a misunderstanding then ensued between the two.