Zimbabwe: Wife Killer to Spend 19 Years Behind Bars

AN Inyathi man, who killed his ex-wife by stabbing her five times with a flip knife as revenge for dumping him, has been jailed for 19 years.

Lyton Sibanda (24), who was a herdsman at Felton Farm in the area, was found guilty of murder with constructive intent when he appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo who was on circuit in Hwange recently.

Nothing was suspended from the sentence as the judge said Sibanda deserved a lengthy jail term.

Prosecuting, Mr Bheki Tshabalala said Sibanda and Nontokozo Khabo, who was aged 21, were once customarily married and separated in February last year.

Khabo was murdered on April 12 last year at her parents' homestead in Village 6 Mahlabathini area, Inyathi.

"On 12 April at night, Sibanda armed himself with a flip knife and a small axe and proceeded to his in-laws' place on the pretext of visiting his ex-wife and daughter aged three," said Mr Tshabalala. "The accused was welcomed by his mother-in-law, Mrs Violet Khabo. He had a friendly conversation with his in-laws and ex-wife with no hint of anger."

Around 11pm, Sibanda decided to leave and asked his ex-wife to accompany him. After walking a short distance towards the gate, he tripped her and sat on top of her.

He drew the flip knife and stabbed her twice on the right lower abdomen, once on the chest, right breast and on the right shoulder, the court was told.

The woman screamed for help and her mother and younger sister, Miss Faith Sibanda (18), rushed to the scene.

Mrs Khabo told the court that when she arrived at the scene, she saw Sibanda sitting on top her daughter.

Sibanda fled from the scene.

Khabo staggered from the scene of the attack intending to go back home, but collapsed.

Her mother and younger sister tried to render first aid before rushing her to Inyathi District Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Sibanda later phoned his in-laws saying he wanted to give them money to take Khabo to hospital, but refused to take the offer out of fear.

Sibanda was arrested on the same night and an axe and the flip knife were recovered.

Mr Givemore Mvhiringi of Mvhiringi and Associates represented Sibanda pro Deo.

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