A GWERU man who walked for 20km to his wife’s family home where he fatally stabbed her 27 times was yesterday sentenced to death by hanging.
Dignity Masvimbo (26) of Winery Compound, Greenvale, Gweru, was convicted of murder with actual intent by Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo on circuit in Gweru.
Masvimbo stabbed his wife of five years, Oripa Gapare (22) all over the body while she lay helplessly on the ground, leading to her death in April last year.
In passing sentence, Justice Moyo said Masvimbo’s conduct was unpardonable as he had butchered his wife in a manner even animals would frown upon.
She said Masvimbo pre-planned the murder before embarking on a 20km journey to the deceased’s place at night and without an appointment with the sole motive of killing her.
Justice Moyo said Masvimbo even wore an overall and carried an okapi knife since he had failed to have the deceased back as his wife.
“The accused failed to pay lobola as one of the conditions set by the deceased’s mother for them to get back. At the house, the accused stabbed the deceased 27 times indiscriminately inflicting fatal wounds. The depth of the wounds according to the post-mortem report indicated that severe force was used,” she said.
Justice Moyo said Masvimbo deserved capital punishment.
She said the murder was committed in aggravating circumstances, adding that domestic violence was a nagging cancer that needed to be uprooted from society.
“Unless capital punishment is removed entirely from the statutes the courts will continue to pass such severe sentences so as to send a message that courts prescribe to deterrent sentences like capital punishment. It is for this reason that unless jurisprudence in the development of law by the superior court changes, cases like this one meet capital punishment as a requirement. The accused is accordingly sentenced to death by hanging,” ruled the judge.
It was the state’s case that sometime in October 2016, Masvimbo and Gapare separated following a domestic dispute.
This prompted the now deceased to move out of the house to stay with her parents at house number 2167 Mkoba 14 in Gweru.
Masvimbo followed her in a bid to make peace but was told by the deceased’s mother that he needed to pay lobola first if he wanted to take back his wife.
He failed to pay the lobola and continued to stay at his house.
Six months later at around 5PM, Masvimbo proceeded to the deceased’s residence armed with an Okapi knife. He went inside the house using an unlocked main door and sat on a sofa in the dining room.
Masvimbo then called Gapare to the dining room and without notice dragged her outside the house whereupon he went on to assault her with clenched fists on her head.
Gapare called for help and her 91- year -old grandmother Mrs Hamundide Mashayamombe came to her rescue by grabbing her waist pulling her away from the accused.
The accused person pushed Mrs Mashayamombe and she fell down.
Masvimbo dragged Gapare to the veranda and went on to stab her indiscriminately all over the body.
The woman died on the spot and Masvimbo fled from the scene.
A report was made to the police leading to Masvimbo’s arrest.
Mr Samuel Pedzisayi appeared for the state.