A MAN from Inyathi who fatally stabbed a fellow villager with a spear after he caught him in bed with his wife, has been spared a lengthy sentence after he was convicted of culpable homicide.
Kudzai Ncube (26) who pleaded not guilty to murder was convicted of a lesser charge of culpable homicide and sentenced to 10 years in prison by Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice Martin Makonese who was on circuit in Hwange last week.
Three years of the sentence were conditionally suspended meaning Ncube will spend an effective seven years in prison for fatally stabbing Tusimi Munkuli who was 24 years old at the time of his death. Justice Makonese bemoaned the increase in crimes of passion arguing that disputing parties should find alternative means of resolving issues than taking matters into their own hands.
“Crimes of passion have increased, a development which is of great concern to us. The courts must not send messages of self-help to dispute. Upon knocking deceased was wearing an underwear while armed with a chain before he engaged the accused in a physical confrontation. While the court cannot take an armchair approach, it is also the court’s feeling that one would rather lose a wife or husband than take away a life. Accused ought to have used other means to resolve the dispute. However, he took matters into his own hands resulting in the loss of life. Therefore the court will impose a sentence that will balance the interests of justice,” said Justice Makonese.
According to statement of agreed facts between the State led by Ms Memory Munsaka and the defence counsel’s Miss Cathrine Manyeza of Ndove and Partners on 5 August 2018, Ncube proceeded to Bhebhe Mine in Mhotshane area, Inyathi to pan for gold with his colleagues.
On the same day at around 11pm, Ncube’s wife, Ms Brenda Tshuma proceeded to Mr Lovemore Dube’s homestead where Munkuli, who was her boyfriend resided. Ncube returned home in the middle of the night and found his wife not at home. He followed her footprints which led him to Mr Dube’s homestead. Ncube knocked on Munkuli’s bedroom door where he was holed up with Ms Tshuma. When Munkuli opened the door, he was only wearing underwear.
Ncube tried to force his way into the hut but was blocked by Munkuli who was armed with a metal chain. Munkuli then struck Ncube on the left shoulder twice. Ncube retreated to the gate where he armed himself with a spear before returning to where Munkuli was standing still armed with a chain.
Munkuli then threw down the metal chain as the two wrestled for the spear. During the tussle for control Munkuli was holding the pointed end of the spear while Ncube got the other resulting in deceased being stabbed on the neck. Munkuli then fled from the homestead before he was discovered bleeding heavily from the side of the neck by Mr John Nkosana.
He was lying on the ground by the gate still wearing an underwear. He died shortly from the wounds.
According the post-mortem report, Munkuli died as a result of massive loss of blood caused by the rupturing of major blood supply arteries on the neck as a result of stabbing by the spear.