HIGH Court Judge, Justice Esther Muremba, has sentenced a pastor, who testified while preaching that he killed his uncle whom he believed was a wizard, to 30 years in jail.
Tichafa Vhondi was convicted of murdering his uncle 12 years ago.
“The accused (Vhondi) might have acted remorsefully before his arrest and during investigations but during the trial he showed no remorse at all.
“He was determined to be acquitted.
“What worsens his case is that he was on the run for nine years before his arrest in 2020,” said the Judge.
He said he showed his cooperation when he was making indications to the police.
However, the State dismissed his submissions citing that he was just bringing it up during mitigation.
However, during the trial, he denied ever testifying and making the indications freely and voluntarily.
It is the State’s case that sometime in January 2011, Vhondi went to Mt Darwin, where the late Daniel Michael Vhondi lived.
The court heard that Vhondi and his family had relocated from Mt Darwin to Murehwa in 2003, when he was only 24.
Prior to the murder, Vhondi called his sister-in-law, accusing Daniel of being a wizard and causing the death of many people within the family.
Vhondi said he was going to come after him for causing a lot of problems in the family.
The State said he then went to Mt Darwin and stalked his uncle when he left for the cotton fields.
Daniel was in the company of his wife, Lydia Hamurove, who later proceeded to a nearby stream for laundry.
While she was busy with the laundry, she heard her husband screaming for help and rushed back to the fields.
When she arrived, she saw Daniel lying lifeless in a pool of blood.
He was struck with a machete on the neck.
Lydia then alerted Daniel’s brother and went on to report the matter to the police.
Police investigated the matter and, since no one had seen Vhondi committing the crime, it was not an easy case.
Vhondi disappeared and was never seen until in 2020 when he was heard by the public testifying in Harare that he killed his uncle 12 years ago and he was looking for God’s forgiveness.
A congregant informed the police.