Rodney Tongai Jindu

Rodney Tongai Jindu is a Zimbabwean who is on death row following capital punishment for the murder of two of his friends in 2017.

In June 2021, Jindu approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court's verdict. Jindu wanted the judgment and sentence of the High Court to be set aside and substituted with an acquittal.

Background

He is the son of Charles Jindu. Sources quoted in an article by Sunday News described Tongai Jindu as a shy, quiet and reserved person although one of the sources said he had a temper but was not violent by intent. The source said:

“I cannot say there was anything queer about Tongai when we were growing up, we did spend a great amount of time together in the neighbourhood and we did the things kids do. We did have the usual squabbles during our soccer matches but that was normal, one wouldn’t say he was violent by intent."

[1]

Religion

At one point Tongai Jindu was a member of the Roman Catholic Church but moved to Eagle Life Ministries led by Prophet Blessing Chiza.[1]

Education

Jindu is a former pupil of the affluent Petra High School.[1]

Arrest

Jindu was arrested on February 3 2017, for killing his childhood friend Cyprian Kudzurunga on January 29 2017. On the second charge, he shot Mboneli Joko Ncube, dismembered his body and set the pieces on fire before burying them in four shallow graves.

According to court papers, it was stated that on January 12, 2017, Jindu drove to a supermarket situated at corner Robert Mugabe Way and 11th Avenue in Bulawayo and met Ncube.

They proceeded to Burnside suburb, but the reason for the trip was not mentioned in court papers.

On arrival in Burnside, Jindu pulled out an Optima pistol serial number 13752 from his car and shot Ncube twice in the chest and he died on the spot.

He then chopped the body into pieces, set them on fire before burying them in four different shallow graves. Police investigations led to the arrest of Jindu and he confessed to the killing.

He made indications that led to the recovery of the body parts at four different sites where they were buried. The firearm used in committing the offence was recovered.[2]

Murder Trial

In August 2018, Jindu was convicted of murder with actual intent by Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo in connection with the deaths of Ncube and Kudzurunga.

Jindu fatally shot Kudzurunga of Queens Park East on January 29 2017, before burying him in a shallow grave in Burnside suburb. Jindu proceeded to send a message to the deceased’s mother pretending to be her son who had suddenly decided to leave Zimbabwe.

He also shot Ncube and dismembered his body and set the parts on fire before burying them in four shallow graves in Burnside.

The court had previously heard that Jindu was mentally ill but following a medical examination, he was declared fit to stand trial.

During the trial, Jindu told the court that he was sent by the devil to kill two of his victims and threatened to unleash the evil spirit on prosecutors.

He said when he committed the two murders, he was under the influence of heroin and methamphetamine (crystal meth) which created an urge for him to kill.

Jindu also confessed that he ate the pair’s raw livers and cooked brains.

Justice Moyo ruled that under the circumstances, Jindu deserved nothing other than capital punishment.[2]

Appeal

In June 2021, Jindu, through his lawyer Mr Dixon Abraham of Tanaka Law Chamber filed an appeal at the Supreme Court citing the State as a respondent.

In his grounds of appeal, Jindu argued that the lower court erred and misdirected itself by convicting him on two counts of murder when there was evidence that he was mentally incapacitated.[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Vincent Gono/Robin Muchetu, Unpacking the character of the ‘killer’ Jindu, Sunday News, Published: February 19, 2017, Retrieved: June 30, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mashudu Netsianda, Jindu fights death sentence, The Chronicle, Published: June 29, 2021, Retrieved: June 30, 2021