Rushinga residents Norman Gunde (24) and Never Kamanika (28) have been sentenced to seven years in prison each for the fatal assault of their friend. The incident occurred after an argument erupted when their friend accidentally stepped on Gunde’s dog. The court found both men guilty of culpable homicide, and they pleaded guilty to the charges.
The two defendants, who reside in Mafuta Village Chief Rusambo, Rushinga, will, however, serve five years of their sentence, as two years were suspended on the condition of good behaviour.
According to court documents, the victim, Pios Siyakurima, was 35 years old at the time of his death. On July 15, 2022, the three individuals were drinking beer at Mazowe Bridge Business Centre. At around 10:00 PM, Siyakurima accidentally stepped on Gunde’s dog, leading to a verbal altercation among them.
Initially, Siyakurima apologized, and the altercation subsided. However, it reignited later on. During the renewed confrontation, Gunde and Kamanika attacked Siyakurima, resulting in his immediate death.
High Court judge Esther Muremba, in delivering her judgment, expressed aggravation over the fact that the accused caused the death of a young man due to a trivial incident involving a dog. The judge stated that the dog did not sustain any visible injuries, yet the deceased lost his life.
Judge Muremba emphasized the need to deter individuals from resorting to violence when under the influence of alcohol, especially in response to minor provocations. She highlighted that severe punishment should be imposed on those who engage in such behaviour to safeguard against a belief that drinking and killing others will result in lenient consequences.
While considering the one-year period the defendants had already spent in custody during the trial, Judge Muremba sentenced them to five years in prison, effectively reducing their initial seven-year sentence.