18 years for murder

High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha today sentenced to 18 years a Gokwe man who murdered his friendin 2008 following a misunderstanding over a hat.

The state led by prosecutor Dianah Msipa told the court that on the 15th of July 2008 at around 1100hrs, the deceased, Nation Nyatsunga, went to one Lina Mahanya’s homestead in Village Chikwanda, Chief Chireya, Gokwe North for a traditional beer drink.

Approximately after 15 minutes, the accused-Edmore Gambagamba (38) who resides in the same village, arrived at the homestead to join the beer drink. However, before he could enter the yard, the deceased approached him and requested that he return a hat he had borrowed him the previous day. The accused indicated that he had left the headgear at his home.

Nyatsunga then attempted to grab the cap that Gambagamba was wearing and a scuffle ensued. At that moment, the state narrated, the accused person pulled out a knife from his trouser pocket, stabbed the deceased once in the neck and ran away

On 17 July 2008, Doctor B.A Maponga examined the deceased’s remains and concluded that the cause of death was a stab wound to the throat.

In his defence tendered by local lawyer Dorcas Shirichena of Chitere and Chidawanyika Legal Practitioners, Gambagamba stated that he had committed the crime in a fit of rage after having been provoked by the deceased. He also asked for lenience saying he had compensated the deceased’s family for the loss and footed burial costs.

However in passing judgement, Justice Kamocha said the country would plunge into lawlessness if courts treated murderers with kid gloves.

Said the judge: “This court should never be lenient to people who use lethal weapons like knives to kill other human beings at the slightest provocation or no provocation at all.

“Killing someone renders them capital punishment and a clear message should be sent through stiff sentences to all would-be criminals that crime does not pay.”

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