TWO self-proclaimed Bulawayo prophets allegedly ganged up and strangled their client, a police Assistant Inspector, in a bushy area where they had taken him to “cleanse him of evil spirits” before robbing him of a car, $200, a laptop and two smart phones, a High Court judge heard yesterday.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere heard this when Patrick Matikiti (26) of Sauerstown and Assurance Moyo (23) of Lobengula West appeared before him charged with the murder of Nhlalo Ndlovu in December 2014.
The pair allegedly robbed him of $200, a laptop, two smart phones and his car, a Toyota Noah which they later sold in Harare.
Prosecuting, Ms Nokuthaba Ngwenya said on December 10, 2014, shortly after 6.30PM, Matikiti and Moyo were approached by Ndlovu who sought to be cleansed of evil spirits that were allegedly haunting him.
Ndlovu had just arrived from Lupane where he was studying midwifery at St Luke’s Hospital.
Ms Ngwenya said Matikiti and Moyo, who already had information that Ndlovu was carrying cash and some valuables in his car, hatched a plan to rob him of his belongings.
“Matikiti and Moyo then asked Ndlovu to drive to Khami Dam where upon arrival they disembarked before they led him to a nearby bush where they purportedly intended to conduct a cleansing ceremony to drive away the evil spirits,” she said.
Ms Ngwenya said the two men manhandled the cop and choked him using a piece of cloth from their garments.
She said they robbed him of $200, a Toshiba laptop, two smart phones, his police ID card and car and left his body in the bush. The two drove to Harare where they sold the car.
Ms Ngwenya said the arrest of the two men follows crime scene evidence generated from samples taken from Ndlovu’s remains which were discovered near Khami Dam.
The arrest was based on a strong suspicion following a report by relatives that Ndlovu was last seen when he visited Matikiti’s home for consultation.
Ndlovu’s bone, tooth and toothbrush were taken to the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Applied Genetic Testing Centre for DNA profiling and the samples matched the police officer’s identity after another paternity test was conducted on the cop’s son and sister.
When police searched Matikiti’s house, they found Ndlovu’s police ID. The two men then led police to the scene of the crime for indications where the other stolen goods were recovered.
Both accused persons admitted the crime in their warned and cautioned statements.
They however, yesterday denied the charges, arguing that they were forced to confess and sign the statement after they were tortured by the police.
Ms Martha Mazango of R Ndlovu and Company is representing Matikiti while Assurance Moyo’s lawyer is Ms Viviane Chikomo of Majoko and Majoko Legal Practitioners.
The trial continues today.