A Chegutu man has been caged for three years for murdering his wife following a dispute over a roadrunner chicken. One year was suspended on the condition of good behaviour.
Emmerson Manjengwa was convicted by High Court judge, Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa, after pleading to a lesser charge of culpable homicide.
The judge said he had managed to prove that he did not intend to kill his wife, Beauty Sando, when he assaulted her using a switch.
Manjengwa was charged with murder after he killed his customary wife in January 2020 at Plot 1, Savannah, Chakari, Chegutu.
Prosecutors told the court that on the day of the murder, Manjengwa instructed the deceased to give one Shepherd Tauro a chicken as a congratulatory gift for his new marriage.
Sando refused to do as instructed and left the couple’s home and Manjengwa followed her, persuading her to come back home but she refused.
Manjengwa slapped the deceased once in the face and proceeded to pluck a switch from a nearby Mudondoro tree and struck Sando in the face.
Sando fell down on her back and Manjengwa struck her once more on the back and the deceased began convulsing.
She was rushed to a clinic before she was transferred to Kadoma Hospital, where she was pronounced dead upon arrival on January 3.
Postmortem confirmed that Sando’s cause of death was Intracranial hypertension and severe head trauma.
In sentencing Manjengwa, the court took into consideration the mitigating factors he submitted. Manjenwa said:
i). he was the remaining parent with four minor children, the youngest being seven years old.
ii). he had paid 14 beasts to his wife’s relatives and US$ 800.
The judge said:
The circumstances of the case, as read from the agreed facts, are that the accused did not in the least intend to kill his wife. The degree of assault and the switch used may not have had fatal sequences had the deceased not fallen down.
At the same time, a message needs to be sent that domestic violence has no place in society.
It was not warranted for the accused to attack his wife for the mere reason that she refused to give a chicken to the man that had visited the accused and deceased’s home.
NewZimbabwe reports that the judge added that lives were being lost over petty issues hence the need for the courts to take a firm position to eradicate gender-based violence.
The judge, however, commended that Manjengwa had prior to commencement of trial, taken the traditional route of making payments to the deceased’s family, saying it befits receiving due consideration.