Muchakata’s two accomplices will be locked up for an effective four years each after they were found guilty of culpable homicide.
Initially, Justice Karwi had sentenced Muchakata to 12 years, but suspended two on condition of good behavior while his accomplices, Takudzwanashe Mazhetese (41), Moses Binduko (42), had one year suspended on their initial five year jail terms each for the murder of Peter Mabika (29 and Innocent Muregi (57), whom they accused of stealing cattle from a Zanu PF base commander in Zaka.
Two of the three’s accomplices, Briton Mutyiri and James Chisvosve, who all constituted the disciplinary committee of the base established at Jichidza business centre in the Chief Nyakunuhwa area, are now deceased.
The five burnt their victims’ backs and then assaulted them with bricks and sticks until they died.
Muchakata, who is the Zanu PF political commissar in the district, was found guilty of all two counts of murder, while Mazhetese and Binduko were found guilty of a lesser charge of culpable homicide for one count after they stated that they were forced to assault one of the MDC-T activists by their late base commander, Alfred Madzimati, a soldier who died before the commencement of the trial.
Appearing for the State, Elison Chabarika told the court that on March 10, 2002, the Zanu PF militia captured Mabika from his home and took him to their campaign base and assaulted him with knobkerries and sticks, accusing him of having stolen some cattle from the late Madzimati.
They undressed him, burnt his back with plastic and struck him on the head with bricks until he died.
The court also heard Muregi was interrogated in the same way three days later until he could not talk and died two days later.
In passing sentence, Justice Karwi blasted the Zanu PF militia for creating lawlessness in the area and said that they usurped the powers of the police and acted outside the purpose of the reason why the base was created.
Justice Karwi also stressed the need for party activists to accept diversity of political ideologies, especially at a time when the country may go to polls either this year or in 2013. Nickel Mushangwe of Mushangwe and company represented the Zanu PF murderers.