A 36-year-old Zimbabwean man charged for the murder of his Motswana girlfriend in October last year has been denied bail by the Maun Chief Magistrate, Thebeetsile Mulalu.
The accused person Eric Nyoni who has been in custody following his arrest last year is alleged to have on the 12th October 2022 murdered his girlfriend, Kebatshabile Machaba at Sanyedi Ward in Maun.
According to court papers, 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 5am the accused person 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 the prime suspect of her murder.
Nyoni is also facing another count of illegal entry into the country.
When delivering his ruling on Tuesday, Mulalu indicated that he took into account the fact that the accused person is facing a serious offence of murder that attracts a longer prison sentence or a death penalty hence it may lead to him absconding from court.
He further took into consideration the accused person’s illegal immigration status noting that Nyoni failed to surrender any of his travel documents but instead he produced an identity card application letter to the prosecution.
“The accused person provided a document titled application for registration of Identity Card which he claimed represent his National Identity Card for the Republic of Zimbabwe, as far as I am concerned the application document cannot be accepted as an identity card,” Mulalu noted.
He further emphasised that granting the accused person bail based on the document will be overlooking and endorsing it as an identity card for the Republic of Zimbabwe.
During his bail arguments last year Nyoni denied being a flit risk arguing that though he knew he was an illegal immigrant, he handed himself at the police after finding the mother of his child motionless in their house.
“I had the opportunity to flee and disappear however 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 argued.
The Investigating Officer (IO) Nkape Nkape argued that the accused person cannot be granted bail as he is an illegal immigrant who cannot stay in Botswana without the necessary documents.