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TWO Mozambican nationals have been jailed for an effective 8 years each by a Masvingo magistrate after they shot and seriously injuring a Chiredzi farmer.

The farmer was among a group of villagers who tried to stop the Mozambicans from stealing their cattle in November last year.

Masvingo regional magistrate Judith Zuyu sentenced Thomas Ingwani, 35, and Eric Mazive, 25, both of Sami Dingi village in the Chikwalakwala area of Mozambique to ten years in jail each but conditionally suspended two years.

The pair denied the attempted murder charges arguing that they were wrongly implicated in the case but Zuyu convicted them after a full trial citing overwhelming evidence.

The magistrate also dismissed the pair’s claims that they had illegally entered Zimbabwe on a hunting mission in the Gonarezhou.

The state called five witnesses, including some of the villagers who chased the pair into Gonarezhou National Park and managed to positively identify them.

Prosecutor Mukakai Mutume told how on November 3 last year, Ingwani and Mazive confronted a teenage herd-boy Last Chikutu at the Papazela grazing village in Sengwe communal lands, southern Chikombedzi.

They pointed an AK47 rifle loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition at him and proceeded to drive away some cattle which he was herding towards Mozambique.

However, as the pair drove the cattle away, Last rushed to the village where he alerted local elders.

A group of villagers then pursued the two and caught up with them deep in the Gonarezhou National Park.

One of the Mozambicans opened fire at the villagers injuring a cattle farmer, Silas Kavalani, whom they shot on the thigh.

The Mozambicans were arrested a few days later following a combined operation by Chiredzi police and rangers from the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

An identification parade was held at Chiredzi police station where Sengwe villagers positively identified them leading to their arrest.

Source : New Zimbabwe