Killer kombi driver appeals sentence

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HARARE – A kombi driver who is serving six years for killing a Harare Girls High School student in an accident, yesterday accused the magistrate who presided over his case of being influenced by public pressure when the matter was heard.

Wadzanai Mabika, 41, is appealing against his conviction and sentence through his lawyer Nathaniel Chigoro.

“The magistrate demonstrated emotions and public pressure bore upon it hence the harsh sentence. A judicial officer seized with a determination should not be influenced by emotions,” he said.

“The court misdirected itself by failing to appreciate lowest penal provisions on counts two to five which provides for a fine…count one and six should have been considered as one.”

According to the State, Mabika was negligent in his driving as he only stopped when the Nissan Caravan he was driving hit a lamppost.

He then disembarked and disappeared from the scene leaving the deceased school girl trapped underneath the vehicle.

However, in passing sentence, Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo took into consideration the fact that Mabika pleaded guilty to the charges and did not waste the court’s time.

“The wilfulness in which he drove his vehicle is underpinned by that he ran over the deceased, dragged her body until he hit a post, a painful demise of a young life, very harrowing,” Makomo said.

“There can be no explanation for that level of recklessness.”

“He admitted he saw that he had knocked the girl down but continued anyway, maybe if he had stopped at that stage, maybe death would have been averted,” Makomo said.

The magistrate said a prison term was the only “appropriate sentence” for the accused.

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