LATE Vice-President John Landa Nkomo’s chief security officer and former Zipra commander Eddie Sigoge (66) was on Friday condemned to prison for four years after being convicted of attempting to kill a Gwayi man and seven colleagues in a farm dispute five years ago.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Sigoge was convicted on eight counts of attempted murder by Hwange regional magistrate for the Western Division, Dambudzo Malunga, who sentenced him to six years after his lawyer Tanaka Muganyi mitigated for him.
Two years of the sentence were conditionally suspended for five years.
There were indications that Sigoge’s lawyer would file an appeal against both conviction and sentence at the High Court, although the exact dates could not be ascertained.
Sigoge shot and wounded one person in a farm dispute involving Nkomo and Langton Masunda in the Gwayi Conservancy.
Sigoge, a retired army colonel from Lobengula West in Bulawayo, was accused of shooting Patrick, the brother of Langton, and firing shots at a vehicle with seven occupants ferrying the injured Patrick to hospital.
Nkomo’s dispute with Langton was over the ownership of Jijima Lodge and the 611,79 hectare safari farm it is situated on.
Nkomo’s son, Jabulani, testified as one of Sigoge’s defence witnesses and stuck to the ownership of the farm, which he said belonged to his late father during the time of the shooting.
However, when the shooting took place on May 9 2009, the conservancy was in dispute as Nkomo was still fighting to wrest it from Langton.
Nkomo was only granted ownership of the farm on May 2 2012 by the Supreme Court, three years after the shooting incident.
Prosecutor Sifelumusa Fuzane said Sigoge had quarrelled with Patrick on May 9 2009 over the occupation of Jijima Lodge.
Patrick wanted Sigoge and dozens of Nkomo’s employees to vacate the property insisting that they were trespassing.
The State proved that Sigoge pulled out a Browning pistol and shot Patrick four times in the pelvis area.
After the shooting, Patrick was picked up by seven of his colleagues and rushed to hospital.