Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter
A MISUNDERSTANDING over a $20 debt turned tragic last week after a Dangamvura man fatally struck his neighbour with a hammer on the head, killing him instantly.
Christopher Piwa, who resides in Gimboki South, was on Tuesday hauled before Mutare magistrate, Mr Innocent Bepura, facing murder charges.
He was asked not to plead and advised to apply for bail at the High Court in Harare.
Piwa was facing a Third Schedule offence.
Public prosecutor Mr Fletcher Karombe told the court that Piwa struck the deceased, Taurai Nyakuni, on August 5.
The suspect allegedly visited the deceased at his residence in the same neighbourhood following up on a $20 debt.
“A misunderstanding arose between the two, resulting in the suspect hitting the deceased with a hammer on the head,” he said.
Upon realising that he had committed a serious offence Piwa disappeared from the scene with the murder weapon.
Neighbours tried to administer first aid on Nyakuni but it was too late.
He was pronounced dead upon admission at Mutare Provincial Hospital. A post mortem done on the deceased revealed that he died due to injuries he sustained from the hammer attack.
In his statement to the police, Piwa said he was provoked by the deceased after he approached him over the debt resulting in a fist fight. He denied ever attacking the deceased with a weapon, saying he used his hands to defend himself from the deceased who was attacking him.
However, recorded statements from neighbours who witnessed the fracas said the accused person hit the deceased with a hammer on the head.
They alleged that he disappeared with the weapon soon after committing the crime.
Piwa was later arrested by officers from Dangamvura Police Station who used his friend to call him and subsequently arrested him from a hide-out in the same neighbourhood.