The Sunday News
Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
WHEN Danis David Konson, then aged 60 years, shot and killed his girlfriend in Jotsholo, Lupane District in 2012 and was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in jail, all hope was lost and he never imagined himself a free man after his incarceration.
Unlike the famous pair of Steven Chidhumo and Edgar Masendeke, he never entertained the thought of escaping from prison. His story made headlines as media houses feasted on the various events and processes that the judiciary was presented with as he sought reprieve.
“Man shoots ex-lover 3 times, sentenced to death” was our sister paper, Chronicle headline on 4 February 2014. It was later on followed by “ConCourt orders Konson retrial.” The order by the ConCourt after he appealed provided the man with the much-needed relief which came on December 2014 and Chronicle aptly recorded it as ‘Konson’s death sentence commuted to 25 years’.”
With the prison remitting a third of his sentence, Konson was left with 16 years, eight months to serve before he benefited from President Mnangagwa’s Amnesty last week after serving nine years.
“I would like to thank the President for giving us this chance to get out of prison. It is a chance to change our lives again and I will utilise it by being productive socially and economically. I committed murder in 2012 and I was sentenced to death.
“Through the Constitutional Court I appealed and was granted a second trial which then sentenced me to 25 years. I then had to serve an effective 16 years and eight months but the amnesty came when I had served nine years in prison. I am so happy with the gesture,” said a relieved Konson soon after his release from Khami Maximum Prison.
Just like any other pardoned inmate Konson said he had learnt a lot of lessons in prison with his biggest lesson being how to control his temper.
“What I have learnt in prison is to control my temper. I think I am more mature now as we learn a lot of things here. There are very good facilities and the rehabilitation system is number one,” he said.
He pleaded with the family of the woman he killed for forgiveness.
“I committed the offence in Jotsholo, Lupane. I had a shop there. I am pleading to the family of the girl to forgive me. I said that in court as well, that I am so remorseful for what I did,” said Konson.
For his family, it was probably one of the longest decades of their lives, but they never neglected their father.
While his son declined to talk to the Press, the joy, the hugs, laughter and the electric atmosphere that engulfed the moment as he welcomed his father coming out of the big walls of Khami Maximum Prison recently spoke volumes about how they were both feeling.
In fact, the son arrived earlier by more than an hour and waited in his Toyota Hilux vehicle for the entire afternoon as prison officials processed all the necessary paper work for his father to be released. Perhaps the three hours in the car were equivalent to a minute as he probably never anticipated that his father was going to be a free man after almost a decade of incarceration.
“My family never gave up on me even though I lost my family members out there and missed the burial of my mother last Sunday.
“She was 92 years old and she also used to visit me in prison. I have seven children, two boys and five girls. Actually, one of my sons is outside waiting for me,” said Konson as he walked away.
For Ronald Dube (33) of Cowdray Park, when he committed murder at Emasimini Sports Bar at Cowdray Park Terminus and was subsequently sentenced to 18 years in prison, he never really thought he will walk the land a free man.
“I committed murder in 2012 in Cowdray Park at a drinking spot called Emasimini. I was sentenced to 18 years and the court gave me a remission of six years so I had to serve an effective 12 years. When I was sentenced, I never thought I would be released back to society but I am very happy to be released today.
I committed this offence at the age of 21 and I am now 33. I would want to apologise to the deceased’s family for what I did,” said Dube, who added that he was a transformed person now.