Ex-detective in court for gunning down mine employee in ownership row

BULAWAYO – A former Zimbabwe Republic Police detective, Refias Masuna is back in court for fatally shooting and killing a man in a mine ownership row.

Masuna, 57, appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Nokuthula Moyo facing murder.

It was however not the first time he has stood trial over the same crime.

Masuna was once convicted by then Justice Francis Bere and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder.

Aggrieved by Justice Bere’s sentence, he lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court which overturned his sentence and ordered his release from prison.

The Supreme Court however gave the National Prosecuting Authority the leeway to exercise its prerogative on whether to prosecute him afresh or not.

In the matter, Masuna had been employed as an operations manager at Manifest Security providing security services at Zulu 8 Mine in Fort Rixon.

The mine was being operated by Blessing Ndiweni, who was having a long standing dispute over the control of the property with a Wilson Nyanhiwa.

The row resulted in a court order granted in favour of Nyanhiwa.

Following the court ruling, Ndiweni’s employees were evicted while his property was also removed from the mine.

Ndiweni then took eight guards, Masuna included, to the mine to assess the situation.

When he got to the mine, an argument ensued between Ndiweni’s party and Nyanhiwa’s employees.

It was during the dispute that Masuna took out his pistol and fired in the direction of his adversaries, hitting Mudenda on the right arm.

The bullet also tore through Mudenda’s body and exited on the other side, killing him.

In his current trial, Justice Moyo postponed the case to a later date.

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