The man who fired at least seven shots with his firearm at another over an argument over gambling winnings on Monday in the High Court pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.
Joshua Hituwamata, 49, told Judge Naomi Shivute through an interpreter that he pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.
His state-funded lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji, confirmed the plea and told the court that his client will not divulge his defence “at this time”. While he admitted he shot the deceased, he claimed it was in self-defence – during his reply to the State’s pre-trial memorandum.
Hituwamata faces a charge of murder and a charge of discharging a firearm in a public place. It is alleged he killed Nathanael Mushishange Showa on July 12, 2013 at Stop and Shop Bar in Okuryangava.
According to the charge sheet Hituwamata and the deceased were gambling at the bar when an argument erupted between them over gambling winnings. Hituwamata then allegedly pulled out his licensed 7.65 pistol and fired seven rounds into the deceased, who died on the scene due to multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and head.
So far the police officer, who handled the crime scene, testified that he picked up eight spent cartridges at the scene and two “projectiles”. He also told the court he was handed five “projectiles” by the investigating officer that were removed from the body of the deceased during autopsy.
Hituwamata was arrested at the scene and remains in custody. Advocate Ethel Ndlovu represents the State. The case continues.