State prosecution has opposed the bail application by Zimbabwean accused, Eric Nyoni charged for the murder of his Motswana girlfriend for fears that as an illegal immigrant, he remains a flight risk.
The 35-year-old who has since further been remanded in custody is alleged to have on the night of the 12th October 2022 murdered his girlfriend, Kebatshabile Machaba at Sanyedi Ward in Maun.
Nyoni and the deceased who is the mother of his 1-year-old child are alleged to have on that fateful night at around 2300 hours had a misunderstanding leading to the accused person allegedly hitting the deceased with fists. The accused is then alleged to have left the deceased home and went out for entertainment.
Upon his return at around 5 am, the accused found Machaba lying motionless and he then proceeded to Maun police station to report the matter. The deceased was then rushed to Letsholathebe II memorial hospital where she was certified dead, while Nyoni was subsequently arrested as a prime suspect of her murder.
Opposing the accused person’s bail application before Maun Chief Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu this week, state prosecution told court that they are yet to receive post-mortem results which will establish the deceased’s cause of death.
In addition, an Investigating Officer (IO) also argued that the accused person is facing another charge of entering the country illegally which increases the chances of him fleeing if granted bail.
“The accused person is also facing a murder charge, a serious offence which may attract a death penalty hence he may flee the country to avoid standing trial,” the IO further agued.
The state noted that the deceased’s daughter with the accused is currently under the care of the deceased’s sister. This is after Mulalu previously ordered prosecution to make a follow up on who will take care of the minor daughter.
The IO noted that since the accused person is an illegal immigrant they do not know how he will be able to stay in Botswana if granted bail since he does not have the necessary documents to freely stay in the country.
In his defense Nyoni told prosecution that he is not a flit risk arguing that though he knew he was an illegal immigrant, he handed himself to the police after finding the mother of his child motionless in their house.
“I had an opportunity to flee and disappear but I did not do that because I know I did not murder my girlfriend and that should be reason enough that I will still wait and stand trial,” Nyoni said.
He further argued that prosecution should not turn a blind eye to the fact that a foreigner is also eligible to liberty but it was however brought to his attention that he may be eligible only if he had valid traveling documents.
When he was asked by the chief magistrate if he had any sureties for his bail, Nyoni revealed that his paternal uncle who is employed and legally staying in Botswana will be his surety.
Meanwhile the accused person who opted to use Namibian language which is spoken in Zimbabwe has given prosecution a go ahead with the matter while they are yet to secure a Namibian interpreter. The accused person told court that in the meantime he may be addressed in Setswana for the interest of time while waiting to find the appropriate interpreter.
Nyoni will appear on the 6th of December 2022 for bail hearing.