Harare Traffic Demo Hero Gets Community Service
23 June 2023
Spread the love

Man Sentenced to Community Service and Fine for Causing Traffic Jam and Disorderly Conduct

By Farai D Hove | In a recent incident that caused a small traffic scene in Harare’s Avenues area, a man who heroically parked his vehicle at an intersection and started beating a drum has been sentenced to 140 hours of community service and a US$200 fine by Harare magistrate Mr Simon Kandiyero. The sentence was delivered after the magistrate received two psychiatric reports on Itayi Uthant Makombe, aged 51, from two different doctors, who concluded that he was capable of comprehending his actions.

Makombe had previously pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and disorderly conduct during his initial court appearance. Initially, Mr Kandiyero sentenced Makombe to six months in prison, suspending two months on the condition of good behavior. The remaining four months were suspended on the condition that Makombe performs 140 hours of community service at ZRP Chinhoyi, starting immediately.

Expressing his disapproval of Makombe’s disorderly behavior, Magistrate Kandiyero highlighted the upcoming elections and emphasized that the court cannot tolerate such actions. He suggested that given the current political climate, Makombe’s behavior might be considered political in nature.

Regarding the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, Makombe was ordered to pay a US$200 fine or face two months in jail. The court was informed by the prosecution that on June 5, at approximately 6 am, Makombe parked his Land Rover Defender at the intersection of Josiah Tongogara Avenue and Sam Nujoma Street in Harare. He then exited the vehicle, climbed onto the back, and sat on a folding chair while covering himself with a blanket.

Eyewitnesses reported that Makombe began playing an African drum and shouting in the Shona language, proclaiming, “Ambuya Nehanda vamuka, ropa zhinji rakadeuka uye richiri kudeuka,” which translates to “Nehanda has resurrected, a lot of blood has been spilt and is still spilling.”

Responding to the disturbance, two police officers arrived at the scene and instructed Makombe to move his vehicle from the intersection. However, when Makombe refused to comply, the police were forced to use minimal force to remove him from the vehicle and subsequently arrested him.

On a separate count, police received information on June 6 that Makombe was in possession of a firearm without a valid certificate. Acting on this information, the police accompanied Makombe to his residence, where they discovered a black CZ pistol with a magazine containing 9 by 7.65 mm caliber rounds, concealed in a bag. It was revealed that the firearm certificate had expired on March 1 the previous year, and Makombe had failed to renew it within the designated timeframe.

In mitigation, Makombe’s lawyer stated that his client had committed the offense while in a state of depression and under the influence of alcohol.

While the court acknowledged Makombe’s mental state and the influence of alcohol during the incident, it upheld the gravity of his actions and the disruption caused to the public. By imposing community service and a fine, the court aims to hold Makombe accountable for his behavior while providing an opportunity for rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

The sentence serves as a reminder that public disorder and unlawful possession of firearms will not be tolerated, particularly in a sensitive period leading up to elections. It underscores the importance of upholding law and order and ensuring the safety and well-being of the public at large.