Gaborone — A 33-year-old man, Kativa Diwanga was on June 18 arraigned before Broadhurst Magistrates Court on three counts of murder following his arrest in relation to the recent murder of a man, his wife and their child.
Diwanga, who told the court that he could not afford to engage an attorney, is alleged to have, on June 10 in Tsholofelo East in Gaborone, murdered Methulesi Musoliwa, Sibongile Marks and Mellissa Marks.
After the charges were read to the accused, the prosecutor Inspector Onkemetse Gaboutlwelwe applied for Diwanga's further remand, submitting to the court that with the investigations being at an early stage, the release of the accused could hinder their progress and possibly prevent the arrest of the other person as indications were that there was more than one suspect in the matter.
Chief Magistrate Linah Oahile-Mokibe probed the prosecution on what reasonable suspicion it relied on to link the accused with the matter, Investigating Officer (IO) Detective Superintendent Maikalelelo Chepete of Broadhurst Police Station informed the court that while attending the scene of crime and conducting a search on the deceased persons' motor vehicle, investigators had retrieved a piece of paper on which the names of the accused and those of one other person were written.
Det/Supt Chepete explained that during a confrontation with the accused after his arrest, Diwanga had admitted to have accommodated the person whose names also appeared on the piece of paper at his place of residence in Francistown, a day before the offence was committed.
He said Diwanga had indicated that the said person had informed him that he was enroute to Gaborone to meet certain people, who the investigators believe to be the deceased.
This, Det/Supt Chepete said raised suspicion in the investigating team that the accused could have been working with the other person.
Furthermore, he said Diwanga had informed investigators that he had lent the person in question his cellular phone, with which he called the deceased persons.
Expressing optimism that they would soon arrest the person currently on the run, Det/Supt Chepete pleaded for the extension of Diwanga's remand warrant, submitting that releasing him could thwart efforts to arrest the other person.
He said the arrest of the other person was the only way to help police establish if indeed the accused person had had a role in the commission of the offence.
Responding to the IO' submissions, Diwanga stated that on June 8, a certain man came to his tuckshop in Francistown and bought some sweets, after which he asked to use his cellular phone to call some people whom he had to go and assist in Gaborone.
Moments after that particular call had been made, the accused said a call came through on his cellphone, and noticing that it could be for the other man, he gave him the phone to take the call.
The accused added that when he closed his tuckshop at around midnight, he realised that the other man, who had since entered the compound and was sitting at the fireplace, appeared to have nowhere to go.
He said he then offered to accommodate the man and that once they were home, the man had asked for Diwanga's details, which he then wrote on a piece of paper.
Diwanga explained to court that after the man had left early the next morning, he realised that his Omang and other cards as well as cash in Botswana and Namibian currency, were missing, and also that the other man had left some items being a pair of trousers, a jacket and a sack behind.
Diwanga said he put the man's belongings in a refuse bag and placed them in the garbage bin outside, where investigators found them days later.
He also told the court that he had, a day after he had discovered that his cards were missing, gone to the police to report that he had accommodated a certain Tanzanian man, whom he suspected to have stolen from him.
After hearing both parties, Magistrate Oahile-Mokibe ruled in favour of the prosecution and extended Diwanga's remand warrant on grounds that there was indeed evidence that linked him with the deceased persons.
She said due to the existence of such evidence, it was crucial to allow investigators to conduct investigations so as to clear any doubts that could exist as to whether or not the accused had actually played a part in the murder of the three deceased persons.
Diwanga will appear for mention on July 2 and the prosecution will be expected to update the court on the state of investigations into the matter.