By Dr Masimba Mavaza
BULAWAYO ‘‘serial killer” Rodney Tongai Jindu who is on death row following a capital punishment for the callous murder of two of his friends in 2017, has approached the Supreme Court challenging the lower court’s verdict.
Jindu (27) of Glengarry suburb was in August 2018 convicted of murder with actual intent by Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo in connection with the deaths of Mboneli Joko Ncube and Cyprian Kudzurunga.
He shot dead Kudzurunga of Queens Park East on January 29, 2017, buried him in a shallow grave in Burnside suburb and sent a message to the deceased’s mother pretending to be her son who had suddenly decided to leave the country.
He also shot Ncube and dismembered his body and set the parts on fire before burying them in four shallow graves in Burnside.
The court had previously heard that Jindu was mentally ill but following a medical examination, he was declared fit to stand trial.
During trial Jindu told the court that he was sent by the devil to kill two of his victims and threatened to unleash the evil spirit on prosecutors.
He said when he committed the two murders, he was under the influence of heroin and methamphetamine (crystal meth) which created an urge for him to kill.
Jindu also confessed that he ate the pair’s raw livers and cooked brains.
Justice Moyo ruled that under the circumstances, Jindu deserved nothing other than capital punishment.
Jindu, through his lawyer Mr Dixon Abraham of Tanaka Law Chamber filed an appeal at the Supreme Court citing the State as a respondent.
In his grounds of appeal, Jindu argued that lower court erred and misdirected itself by convicting him on two counts of murder when there was evidence that he was mentally incapacitated.
“There was cogent evidence that appellant was mentally incapacitated to appreciate the implications of his actions at the material time of committing the offence. Wherefore, appellants prays that the appeal be and is hereby allowed,” said Mr Abraham.
Jindu wants the judgment and sentence of the High Court to be set aside and be substituted with an acquittal.
The State is yet to respond.
Jindu was arrested on February 3, 2017 for killing his childhood friend Kudzurunga on January 29. On the second charge, he shot Ncube, dismembered his body and set the pieces on fire before burying them in four shallow graves.
According to court papers, it was stated that on January 12, 2017, Jindu drove to a supermarket situated at corner Robert Mugabe Way and 11th Avenue and met Ncube.
They proceeded to Burnside suburb, but the reason for the trip was not mentioned in court papers.
On arrival in Burnside, Jindu pulled out an Optima pistol serial number 13752 from his car and shot Ncube twice in the chest and he died on the spot.
He then chopped the body into pieces, set them on fire before burying them in four different shallow graves. Police investigations led to the arrest of Jindu and he confessed to the killing.
He made indications which led to the recovery of the body parts at four different sites where they were buried. The firearm used in committing the offence was recovered. – Chronicle ■