21 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Man Stones Uncle to Death Over Witchcraft

A GUTU man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for stoning his 71 year-old uncle to death, accusing him of practicing witchcraft in the family.

Kasiel Muhwava, 31, wept uncontrollably when High Court Judge, Justice Susan Mavhangira handed down judgment on Thursday.

He had denied murder with actual intent arguing he only retaliated with anger after the uncle, Shadreck Muhwava, swore that he would not live to see the next day.

Defence attorney, Frank Chirairo, told the court that Kasiel approached Shadreck after consulting a witch-doctor who allegedly told to him that his uncle was responsible for the death of his two children.

The traditional healer is also said to have claimed that the uncle was also responsible for Kaisel's own illness.

"At the deceased's homestead, deceased swore to the accused that he would never see the next day, further called for his bewitching stick from his grandson and it is then accused realized his life was in danger and he proceeded to assault him," the defence counsel said in court.

However, prosecutor Elson Chavarika proved beyond reasonable doubt that Kaisel murdered his uncle with actual intent.

Justice Mavhangira heard that on the morning of 12 September 12, 2012, Kaisel approached Shadreck at his homestead and demanded that he produces a walking stick which he allegedly used to bewitch people.

Family members, who testified during the trial, however said Shadreck did not own any such stick.

The court was told that when the uncle protested his innocence, Kaisel handcuffed him and demanded that they go Basera Police Station together.

The court was told that after walking a short distance, Kaisel started assaulting the uncle with clinched fists.

He hit Shadreck until he fell down when struck him on the head with rocks weighing 6kgs, 3kgs and 3.3kgs. The stones were produced in court as evidence

After the assault Kaisel disappeared, leaving the uncle lying in a pool of blood and dying.

A medical report produced showed that Shadreck died of deep cuts in the head.

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