Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
A TEENAGE boy from Nyamandlovu who strangled his 13-year-old cousin to death and set the body alight using paraffin before burying it in a shallow grave has been sentenced to 18 years in jail.
Nqobile Moyo (18) of Stand 16 Village 2B Stanhope North in Nyamandlovu committed the crime in January this year.
It was alleged that he raped the now deceased at night in a bedroom hut they shared with other siblings in the absence of the elders before strangling her to death, but Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Christopher Dube-Banda who was on circuit in Hwange last week found him not guilty of the rape offence.
The judge said there was no evidence for rape as the post mortem showed that the deceased had not been penetrated.
The post-mortem stated that the juvenile girl died of neck constriction and strangulation.
On the murder charge, Justice Dube-Banda found Moyo guilty of murder with actual intent.
Nothing was suspended from the 18 years sentence.
Prosecuting, Ms Memory Munsaka said Moyo and the deceased Rumbidzai Mkwananzi were cousins and resided at the same homestead.
“On the 16th day of January 2020, the deceased and two other siblings aged eight years were left in the custody of the accused by the accused mother Mrs Margaret Moyo as she went to Bulawayo. On the 19th of January the accused, deceased and the two others retired to bed,” said the prosecutor.
She said the deceased and another little girl who used to share a bedroom hut with Mrs Moyo moved to the accused’s bedroom hut because they were scared to sleep alone.
Ms Munsaka said in the early hours of January 20 Moyo left his blankets and joined the now deceased in her blankets on the floor where he strangled her to death.
He dragged the body out of the yard for about one kilometre where he dug a shallow grave and put it inside.
Moyo poured paraffin on the body before setting it alight, the court was told.
He then covered the remains with soil and grass and went back to sleep.
In the morning Moyo reported to relatives and neighbours that his cousin was missing.
Villagers formed a search party and discovered the shallow grave.
Moyo was arrested after investigations by the police.