22 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Gwanda Man Dies in Fight Over Booze

A 20-YEAR-OLD man employed as a herd-boy in Gwanda bludgeoned to death a neighbour for allegedly trying to stop him from drinking undiluted whiskey at a community gathering.

Tawanda Nkomo appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha last week charged with the murder of Nkosinomsa Mafu, 49.

The tragedy occurred on January 3, 2012 when a group of villagers gathered at a neighbour's maize field to help with weeding the crop.

The host served them opaque beer and a bottle of whiskey and fights broke out after the group got plastered.

The court heard that Nkomo and Mafu quarrelled after the latter tried to stop the young man from drinking the whiskey without dilution.

Nkomo is said to have hit the older man with a knobkerrie, causing his death two days later.

Said prosecutor Timothy Makoni: "On January 3, 2012 the accused person and the now deceased were at Ernest Bhebhe's homestead where they had gathered to till a maize field.

"While having a break they were given 750ml of spirit alcohol by their host and a misunderstanding arose over the dilution."

After the pair quarrelled, Nkomo dashed to his homestead and returned d with a knobkerrie which he used to pummel Mafu several times all over the body.

Nkomo however, denied responsibility for Mafu's death.

He told the court that two elderly people, Augustine Dube, Busani Ndlovu, were the ones who kicked and trampled on Mafu and should have been arrested, not him.

But witnesses said the fight broke out after an incensed Nkomo accused Mafu of denying him food "which I worked for."

They said Nkomo threatened to beat-up Mafu on numerous occasions as they continued drinking.

The trial continues.

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